Telecom sector records ₹41,000 crore dip in revenue, says Prasad

Gross revenue of the telecom sector in 2016-17 was ₹2.65 lakh crore, which had reduced to ₹2.46 lakh crore a year later and then to ₹2.24 lakh crore in 2018-19. Represntational image only. Photo: iStock

The telecom sector’s gross revenue fell about ₹41,000 crore in three years on account of a dip in mobile services rates, said telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday (November 27).

Gross revenue of the telecom sector in 2016-17 was ₹2.65 lakh crore, which had reduced to ₹2.46 lakh crore a year later and then to ₹2.24 lakh crore in 2018-19, Prasad said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.

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“Due to fierce competition in the telecom sector over the recent years, telecom service providers (TSPs) have revised their tariff downwards. As a result, gross revenue (GR) and adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of all TSPs have declined for last three financial years,” the minister said.

Adjusted gross revenue, on which the government earns revenue, also declined by around ₹46,000 crore. According to the data shared by Prasad, adjusted gross revenue declined from ₹1.85 lakh crore in 2016-17 to ₹1.5 lakh crore a year later and ₹1.39 lakh crore in 2018-19.

“Accordingly, licence fee, which is 8% of adjusted gross revenue, and spectrum usage charges, which are 3 to 5% of the adjusted gross revenue, have also decreased,” Prasad said.

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The minister said that to remain competitive in the market, BSNL has also reduced tariff and the same has been reflected in the financial statements.

“Despite increase in the subscriber base, revenue earned from mobile services has declined in the last three years,” he said. According to data shared by Prasad, BSNL’s revenue from mobile services more than halved to ₹4,708.63 crore in 2018-19 from ₹11,271.95 crore in 2016-17.