4G Telecom Gear Equipment to Attract 10% Customs Duty in India: Reports

Indian telecom operators will soon be asked to pay ten percent basic Customs duty on imported 4G telecom gear for their network expansion in the country, according to media reports that say that such a move will impact deb-ridden telcos network deployment plans.


The telecom industry is saddled with a massive debt of over Rs 4.6 lakh crore and is seeking instant relief from the Indian government. Basic Customs duty on 2G and 3G gear are exempt, but a countervailing duty of around 12.75 per cent is levied on them.

The Indian government has reportedly taken that view that 4G gear import doesn’t fall within the purview of the global Information Technology Agreement (ITA). The ITA mandates the country to allow duty-free imports of telecom and IT products.

The ITA covers a large number of technology products, including computers, telecommunication equipment, semiconductors, semiconductor manufacturing and testing equipment, software and scientific instruments.

“The field formations had some doubt. We have told them that such import would be subject to 10 per cent basic Customs duty plus additional duty plus cess,” an official was quoted as saying by PTI.

Reports suggest that the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has passed assessment orders for the imposition of basic Customs duty on 4G equipment import. These provisional assessment orders issued by the field formations will be altered, and all such imports will be subject to Customs duty.

ET had earlier reported that such a move would invite a duty implication worth Rs. 1,000 crore for Reliance Jio, which is a 4G-only telecom operator, having already kicked off commercial operations.

Following the commercial launch by Jio, other telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular are aggressively rolling out 4G networks across the country to cater to the increasing data demand.

Reported By

Leave a Reply

8 Comments on "4G Telecom Gear Equipment to Attract 10% Customs Duty in India: Reports"


Sort by:   newest | oldest
June 15, 2017 12:18 pm 12:18 PM

Jio already imported all its 4g equipment now Mukesh Ambani plays the master card again with government . Bad days for other telcos… This is not good all the power in one hand is always bad for any industry

June 15, 2017 2:23 pm 2:23 PM

Government has the right to recover all the customs duty from jio which are cleared duty free in the last few years….all the documents are available with customs….

The above case is clearly a case of confusion from
Government’s part & it is wrong to blame jio for the same
…….the clarity is recieved from government & they will recover all dues from jio…..

Jio has also issued a press release stating that they will abide by the law & clear all dues.

There won’ be advantage or disadvantage to any operators, as all will be levied taxes as per their import bills.

June 15, 2017 12:06 pm 12:06 PM

Govt will not miss any opportunity to earn revenue. The timing of this move is actually very late as even AVOID has upgraded their systems in most places and have 4G coverage in most of the cities across India.

Sunny | Lucknow
June 15, 2017 5:13 pm 5:13 PM

How do you suggest running a country of nearly 130 crore people, most of whom are unproductive?

June 15, 2017 10:29 pm 10:29 PM

Includes you. Definitely…you.

Varun Kumar
June 15, 2017 6:43 am 6:43 AM

Oh this is bad, the central government is just stupid. These stupid customs and regulations are the ruination of India.

June 15, 2017 11:46 am 11:46 AM

They need money to cover expenses of farmers’ loan waivers and other sops as well as election campaign funding etc.