Telecom Infrastructure Providers Seek Fiscal Support and Policy Reforms in Budget 2024 Wishlist

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Telecom infrastructure providers, represented by the Digital Infrastructure Providers’ Association (DIPA), have presented a comprehensive wishlist for Budget 2024. In their plea, they are seeking crucial measures to enhance the ease of doing business, ultimately fostering increased investments and contributing to the long-term growth of the industry.

DIPA’s Call for Support

DIPA, comprising major players such as Summit Digitel, American Towers, Indus Towers, and others, stressed the importance of government backing for the availability of input tax credit on telecom towers. Additionally, they are advocating for a significant increase in the tax depreciation rate from 15% to 65% on batteries used for industrial and commercial purposes. The aim is to ensure cost recovery within the economic life of these batteries, set at three years.

Addressing Regulatory Challenges

In their release, DIPA highlighted the need for rationalization of Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) provisions related to the purchase of electricity and diesel. These proposed changes aim to streamline processes and alleviate financial burdens on telecom infrastructure providers.

Industry Landscape

With over 7.7 lakh telecom towers hosting nearly 27 lakh Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) across the country, the telecom infrastructure industry plays a pivotal role in delivering 2G, 4G, and 5G services on a pan-India basis. This extensive network serves approximately 1.2 billion customers, underscoring the industry’s significance.

Budget Expectations

DIPA’s Director General, T R Dua, emphasized the need for the budget to outline supportive policies, simplified regulations, and streamlined GST norms to foster the development of the telecom infrastructure industry. The association has formally written to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, seeking the necessary support for the industry in Union Budget 2024.

As the Telecom Infrastructure remains a sunrise industry, DIPA’s wishlist aims to create an environment conducive to sustained growth, innovation, and the seamless provision of quality communication services. The success of these appeals could pave the way for a robust and future-ready telecom infrastructure landscape in the country.

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