Budget may give revenue targets from BSNL listing, 3G auctions | india | Hindustan Times
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Budget may give revenue targets from BSNL listing, 3G auctions

The listing of state-run BSNL and the expected realisation from the auction of 3G spectrum are likely to find mention in the budget proposal to be presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

india Updated: Jul 05, 2009 14:14 IST

The listing of state-run BSNL and the expected realisation from the auction of 3G spectrum are likely to find mention in the budget proposal to be presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Official sources said, the Budget statement might mention the 10 per cent stake dilution of BSNL under the head expected receipts of the government from disinvestments.

The auction of 3G spectrum is also expected to be a part of the budgetary announcements along with the government's anticipated collection of about Rs 25,000-Rs 30,000 crore from the auction. An empowered Group of Ministers will decide the details of the process including the reserve price and number of slots.

The telecom industry has sought rationalistion of multiple taxes and duties imposed on the sector in the Budget.

Taxes, including annual licence fees, spectrum usage charges, microwave access, and service tax comprise 30 per cent of the operators' adjusted gross revenue.

Industry body COAI has sought a uniform license fee of one per cent of adjusted gross revenue, excluding universal service obligation fees, across all segments of telecom. At present, operators levy 6-10 per cent of the AGR as licence fee depending on the circle.

COAI has also sought tax break extensions for the telecom industry, at par with other infrastructure sectors, to aid further expansion of affordable services.

It said telecom operators should be able to claim tax breaks for 20 years. Out of this, operators should be eligible to claim a 100 percent exemption on taxable profits for 10 successive years.

Currently, a telecom operator is entitled to a 100 per cent tax break for 5 years, followed by a 30 per cent relief on profit for the next 5 years during the initial 15 years when commercial operations start.

It has also sought doing away with the current rule that requires subscribers to quote PAN, or personal account number, at the time of acquiring a mobile connection, as several low-end rural subscribers do not have a PAN number.