The government on Monday amended the telecom licence norms to reduce the tax burden on telecom operators by exempting all non-telecom revenues, income from dividends, interest, property sale and rent, among others, for calculation of levies like licence fees and spectrum usage charges.
The old definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) upheld by the Supreme Court had led to a burden of around Rs 1.47 lakh crore on operating telecom service providers, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, and pushed the sector into a deep financial crisis.
The exempted sources of revenue earned by telecom operators will be deducted from the gross revenue of telecom operators to calculate applicable adjusted gross revenue (ApGR), as per amendments published by the Department of Telecom (DoT) on Monday.
Thereafter, already exempted categories under old rules like roaming revenues, interconnection charges and goods and services tax revenue will be deducted to arrive at the final AGR on which the government calculates its share of revenue.
The other sources of telecom operators earning that will be exempted from gross revenue to calculate ApGR include receipts from USO fund, revenues from activities under a licence issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, gains from foreign exchange rates fluctuations, insurance claims, bad debts recovered and excess provisions written back.