K G Purushothaman, Partner, Advisory, and Telecom Leader, KPMG
With a strong focus on overall fiscal growth of the Indian economy, the telecom sector remained forlorn in the interim budget 2019. The telecom sector, despite being the foundation ground of the digital India, remained wanting for critical support needed by the sector to reinvigorate itself.
The ailing telecom sector had huge expectations from the budget in terms of relaxation and reduction of huge taxes and levies paid by them. With the significant financial distress faced by the sector due to huge debt pile up and the impending infrastructure spend which is estimated to be over Rs 1 trillion, the industry was expecting a financial relief and resolution of some disputed issues like SUC etc.
However, continuing the budget 2018’s focus on enabling the vision for a digital India, the budget highlighted the government’s vision making 1 lakh digital villages in the next five years. It also highlighted government’s intention to develop Artificial Intelligence as a national program. These initiatives are expected to provide indirect fillip to the sector.
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