The telecom sector’s gross revenue fell about Rs 41,000 crore in three years on account of a dip in mobile services rates, said Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday.
Gross revenue of the telecom sector in 2016-17 was Rs 2.65 lakh crore, which had reduced to Rs 2.46 lakh crore a year later and then to Rs 2.24 lakh crore in 2018-19, Prasad said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.
“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,” minister said.
AGR, on which the government earns revenue, also declined by around Rs 46,000 crore. According to the data shared by Prasad, AGR declined from Rs 1.85 lakh crore in 2016-17 to Rs 1.5 lakh crore a year later and Rs 1.39 lakh crore in 2018-19.
“Accordingly, licence fee, which is 8 percent of AGR, and spectrum usage charges, which are 3 to 5 percent of AGR, have also decreased,” Prasad said. 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 Rs 4,708.63 crore in 2018-19 from Rs 11,271.95 crore in 2016-17.―The Hindu Business Line