Telecom industry disappointed at ‘discouraging’ budget

February 28th, 2011 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) Contrary to the industry’s expectations, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Monday waved no magic wand for the telecommunications sector, leaving it disappointed. “We in the cellular industry are deeply disappointed that the industry that has provided so much to national development and has made India the second largest and fastest growing telecom market in the world, has not received the encouragement and nurture befitting such an important engine of economic development and nation building,” said Rajan Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India.

S.C. Khanna, general secretary, Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India, said that though village broadband has been taken into consideration there has been no tax benefit for the sector.

The industry was expecting an exemption of service tax on broadband besides the announcement of auction of additional spectrum in the financial year 2011-12, and accordingly include the proceeds from auction of additional spectrum in the budgetary estimates.

With over 750 million subscribers, increasing on an average of 17 to 18 million subscribers per month, the Indian telecom sector is one of the fastest growing in the world.

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