News Heading : ISPAI moves TDSAT against 4% fee levy
Post Date : 2012-07-07
News Source : The Economic Times
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An industry body representing internet service providers in India Friday moved the telecoms tribunal against the government's decision to levy a fee of 4% of their annual revenues from July 1.
Internet Services Providers Association of India (Ispai) through eleven companies appealed to the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal ( TDSAT) to quash the government's 'arbitrary' move as it would amount to changing licence agreement without mutual consent.
"Even lower license fee has not been able to achieve desired result in growth of Internet subscriber base is totally fallacious. For growth in subscriber base there is first required the requisite number of computers and also literacy levels, which unfortunately are lacking in the country. However, inspite of these constraints the petitioners are doing their best to increase their reach. In such scenario, to put additional burden of license fee on them would be totally arbitrary and unsustainable," the petition said.
Internet service providers do not pay any fee to the government at present. Internet service providers offering internet telephony pay about 6% of their annual revenues as licence fee to the government.
The telecoms department said recently that it would impose a uniform licence fee of 8% of gross revenue on both categories from in a two-step process over two years.
ISP's would pay 4% will have to pay 4% while ISP-IT companies will pay 7% from July 1. Both will have to pay 8% of the adjusted gross revenue as licence fee from April 1, 2013.
The government's move will lead to consumer paying up more for using internet services as these companies are likely to pass the payout burden on to consumers.