Budget 2024: Telecom industry hails Budget, calls these announcements ‘helpful’ | Business – Times of India

by The Technical Blogs


Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has hailed the interim Budget 2024. In a statement, Lt. General Dr SP Kochhar, Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has said that the budget reiterates the government’s commitment to economic growth. “The Interim Budget presented by the Finance Minister today reemphasized the government’s economic policies and the commitment to sustained growth, improving productivity and creating opportunities with a focus on skilling and reskilling.”
COAI is the apex trade body of the telecom industry. Its members include Airtel, Vodafone-Idea and Reliance Jio — the three biggest telecom service providers in India.
He thanked the government’s decision to extend the deadline for current customs duty exemption granted to vessels. “In a significant gain for the telecom sector just before the interim budget, the current customs duty exemption granted to vessels engaged in laying submarine cables in India – which lapses on 31st March 2024 – was extended up to 30th September 2024. Telecom companies depend heavily on submarine cables for the high-speed transfer of data around the globe and this step will help in following the compliances,” he said.
The finance minister has proposed a corpus of Rs l000 crore to be set up with 50 year interest-free loan tech-savvy growth. The corpus will provide long-term financing with long tenors and low/nil interest rates. The aim is to encourage pvt sectors to scale up Research and innovation significantly in sunrise domains. Kochhar said that the same will help the private sector to scale up and invest in research and development. “The announcement of a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore for the technology sector is a positive measure as access to capital is a critical factor to support innovation and growth. The long-term, interest-free or low interest rate loans and focus on deep tech will further encourage the private sector to scale up research and innovation,” he added.
Talking about the post-election budget, he said, “We are hopeful that in the post-election full budget, the industry’s suggestions to reduce regulatory levies like License Fee, deferring USOF contribution till the existing funds are exhausted, exemption of Basic Customs Duty (BCD) on Telecom equipment, waiving of GST on regulatory payments and refund of ITC, among others, will be considered and addressed by the Government during the course of the year.”


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