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The government expects revenues of Rs 486.61 billion from the telecom sector, which is reeling under financial stress, in 2018-19. This marks a 58 per cent increase over revenues of Rs 307.36 billion (Revised Estimates) for the current fiscal. The government had provided for Rs 443.42 billion of revenues from this head in this financial year.
Telecom or communication services contribute revenue to the government in the form of licence fees and spectrum charges. Revenue earned from spectrum auction is also included. However, there was a shortfall in projected revenue from the sector primarily because no auction took place in the current financial year. Also, there was a shortfall in licence fee and spectrum usage charges because of declining profitability of mobile operators.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has already sought the recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on price and timing of the next spectrum auction. However, the auction can be successful if there is an appetite among telecom operators to buy airwaves.
In 2016-17, the government earned Rs 702.41 billion from communication services.