Investment outlay for state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has been reduced to Rs 4,300 crore for 2017-18, compared to the Budget Estimate of Rs 7,317 crore for the current fiscal. The expenditure estimate for the telecom PSU in the revised estimates for 2016-17 has been lowered to Rs 4,800 crore. Also Read - Jio maintains lead in 4G download speed, Vi in upload in May: TRAIAlso Read - BSNL launches a new cheap Rs 499 broadband plan to take on Airtel Xtreme, JioFiber
However, the outlay for Bharat Broadband Network Ltd (BharatNet), aimed at providing broadband connectivity in gram panchayats in the country, has been stepped up to Rs 11,033 crore for the next fiscal. The outlay for Bharat Net in the Budget Estimate for 2016-17 was about Rs 9,418 crore but the actual expenditure, as per the revised estimate, is likely to be Rs 7,366.34 crore.
The total outlay for all telecom PSUs, which includes others like TCIL and CDOT, stands at Rs 15,435.75 crore for FY18, higher than the revised estimate of Rs 11,783.27 crore but lower than the budget estimate of Rs 16,895.70 crore for this fiscal. Budget 2017-18 has also provided for a grant of Rs 200 crore for the ailing Indian Telephone Industries, according to the expenditure budget.
The provision for Bharat Net project pertains to creation of telecom infrastructure required for providing broadband connectivity to gram panchayats and facilitating non-discriminatory access to service providers, for provision of broadband services in rural areas, it said.
Amongst the telecom public enterprises, investment outlay for Centre for Development of Telematics would be Rs 120 crore for the coming financial year, and over Rs 35 crore for Telecommunications Consultant India Ltd. Meanwhile, government has slashed revenue expectation from the telecom sector by 55 percent to Rs 44,342.2 crore for 2017-18. ALSO READ: BSNL s losses narrowed to Rs 4,890 crore between April-December 2016
In the receipt estimates, the government has pegged revenue from communications at Rs 44,342.2 crore, which includes “licence fees from Telecom Services Providers” and “one time entry fees from new operators”. In 2016-17, the government had estimated revenue of Rs 98,994.93 crore from telecom sector, which included about Rs 64,000 crore from spectrum auction and the rest from licence fees and other charges.
It may be recalled that the Department of Telecom had placed for auction airwaves worth Rs 5.66 lakh crore in October 2016, which fetched total bids worth about just Rs 65,789 crore. Government received around Rs 32,400 crore as partial payment from successful bidders in spectrum auction and rest from non-tax charges. Overall, the telecom sector fetched revenue of Rs 78,715.01 crore for government in 2016-17.
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