Indian Telcos Seeks 12% GST Rate on Service, to Write Letters to Govt

Indian telecom operators, through lobby body, the COAI, are planning to write to the finance and telecom ministries to lower the proposed goods & services tax (GST) rate of 18% on telecom services to 12%. With this move, the telcos aim to ensure parity with the applicable tax rate for mobile handsets, while pushing for an extension to the July 1 deadline for implementation of the new tax regime, according to a report in Economic Times.


The body is expected to seek logic behind the finance ministry’s decision to impose an 18% GST rate on telecom services while choosing to levy a 12% tax on mobile handsets.

COAI director general Rajan Mathews told the publication that telecom operators would seek to lower the GST rate for telecom services and question the government’s decision to levy a lower GST of 12% on all sorts of mobile phones, including top-end 4G smartphones, “and in the same breath make access to an essential service like telecom more expensive by slapping a much higher GST rate of 18%.”

The report also added that telecom operators might also seek an extension of the July 1 deadline for GST implementation as they are not in a position to meet the timeline, and may cite accounting and technological challenges.

Mathews said the body would reiterate that telecom is an essential-cum-emergency service under the Essential Services Maintenance Act, and is availed of by the masses.

ICRA in its recent note said that an increase of in tax rate from 15% to 18% after the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will result in costlier telecom services, which will lead to lesser talk-time on fixed denomination packs for prepaid users which account for almost 95% of total user base in India.

The Indian government recently had asked telecom service providers to rejig cost and lower prices to pass on the benefits of tax rate reduction under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to customers in the country from July this year. “After GST regime, telecom companies would be required to re-work their costing and credits availability and re-jig their prices and ensure that the increased availability of credit is passed on to the customers by lowering their costs,” the Finance Minister said in a statement.

Indian telecom operators recently expressed disappointment over the introducing of the GST rate of 18% on telecom services and said that this would further stress the already bleeding sector. They said that the move would slow down the planned roll-out of telecom infrastructure across the country, thereby impacting initiatives like Digital India, Cashless India.

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11 Comments on "Indian Telcos Seeks 12% GST Rate on Service, to Write Letters to Govt"


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June 2, 2017 5:15 pm 5:15 PM

Telecommunication Industry is already facing a lot of financial crunch,and decisions like this is going to force the telcos to X’fer their financial load to the end users.
Winter is coming for Telecom Sector

June 2, 2017 9:19 pm 9:19 PM

As long as india exist Winter never comes. Think why these telecoms investing more if this is a loss venture….Dont act fool like believing Avoid high quality 1gb data cost 295rs.

June 3, 2017 11:46 am 11:46 AM

You act like an i most of the time.

June 2, 2017 11:25 pm 11:25 PM

Can you prove that the default data pack of all the operators have been reduced after jio?.

June 2, 2017 4:19 pm 4:19 PM

Too much noise for 3 percent + tax credit.

June 2, 2017 3:56 pm 3:56 PM

This government has betrayed the public. They talk of digitalisation 24/7 and then put hefty taxes on people on basic necessities like Tele-communication. Pathetic!!

June 2, 2017 9:19 pm 9:19 PM

hahahahahahahahah Lol…..

June 2, 2017 6:03 pm 6:03 PM
those who feel that due to this 3% extra ( in real it just number not actually increase ) … your telephone bill or talktime reduce then COME to bsnl network witch provide india’s most affordable plan both on mobile and landline..!!!! mobile :- 395, 333 , 339 , 24rs. (90days-100min ) , 11rs(90days-100min) landline/broadband :- 49 , 249 , 675+(4mbps speed ) , 1199(2mbps+calling unlimited)… !!!!! we indian use world’s cheap data and voice rate … so why you think this high tax is burden on us.!!!!! after JIO people think that our data usage means mobile data….!!! if… Read more »
Sunny | Lucknow
June 2, 2017 5:34 pm 5:34 PM

Spoketh the eminent economist, lol.

Girish Gowda
June 2, 2017 4:48 pm 4:48 PM

What are u talking about? Congress betrayed us with scams. This govt has lowered the total tax on telecom companies and given even more incentives for these lying companies to actually pay the tax in time. Don’t buy into the bs you read from their announcements.

June 2, 2017 4:23 pm 4:23 PM

……Hefty? 15 to 18! In real 18 is not 18.

What about 303-395 unlimited packs..