Gross revenues in the telecommunications sector have fallen by around Rs 41,000 crore in three years due to lower prices for mobile services, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday.
The gross revenues of the telecommunications sector in 2016-17 were Rs 2.65 lakh crore, which had been reduced to Rs 2.46 lakh crore a year later, then to Rs 2.24 lakh crore in 2018-19, a said Prasad in a written response to a question in the Lok sabha.
“Due to fierce competition in the telecommunications industry over the past few years, telecommunications service providers (TSPs) have revised their tariffs downward. As a result, gross revenues (GR) and adjusted gross revenues ( AGR) of all TSPs have declined over the past three fiscal years, ”the Minister said.
The AGR, on which the government collects revenue, has also declined by around 46,000 crore rupees.
According to data shared by Prasad, the AGR went from Rs 1.85 lakh crore in 2016-17 to Rs 1.5 lakh crore a year later and Rs 1.39 lakh crore in 2018-19.
“As a result, license fees, which represent 8% of AGR, and spectrum usage fees, which represent 3-5% of AGR, have also decreased,” Prasad said.
The minister said that to remain competitive in the market, BSNL also reduced its tariffs and this was reflected in the financial statements.
“Despite the increase in the subscriber base, revenues from mobile services have declined over the past three years,” he said.
According to data shared by Prasad, BSNL’s revenue from mobile services was more than halved to Rs 4,708.63 crore in 2018-19, from Rs 11,271.95 crore in 2016-17.