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Funding Should be at Lower Interest Rate: Telecom Companies

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Telecom industry urged the government to facilitate funding for telecom companies at lower interest rates to help them reduce capital costs.

Representatives from the industry met telecom ministry officials to communicate their suggestions to help the debt-ridden sector. The DoT, which has given time till Tuesday to send in written recommendations, will compile these demands and send them to the Finance Ministry for consideration in the forthcoming Budget.

According to a senior government official, most demands made were on similar lines as before, including reduction in Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) levy and licence fees.

The official added that one of the recommendations was related to input line credit.

Besides, the industry has also sought facilitation of funding at lower interest rates to telecom companies, removal of GST on licence fee, spectrum usage charges (SUC) and on payment of spectrum charges, and refund of accumulated input tax credit, the official said.

They have also urged that telecom towers be included in definition of plant and machinery for input tax credit, and further promotion of Make in India by setting up a dedicated fund that can be used by purchaser of telecom equipment.

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