Govt may reduce licence fee for DTH operators

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New Delhi, Oct 1 (UNI) The Government was considering reducing the percentage of the gross revenue which is charged as licence fee for DTH operators, Additional Secretray, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Uday Verma said here.

Mr Verma was responding to the queries of reporters over the recent Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) decision over the issue.

The Tribunal in its judgement in the case between Direct-to-Home (DTH) operator Tata Sky and the Ministry had ruled that the licence fee for DTH services should be charged on the basis of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) and not on the basis of gross revenue (GR).

Mr Verma said the government was looking at the judgement, and it might consider reduction in the percentage which was at present 10 per cent of the gross revenue.

The Ministry had argued before the tribunal that the license fee should be calculated on the basis of the entire gross revenue earned by the DTH operator whether it resulted from licensed activity or from activities which are not related to the license.

However, Tata Sky held that that license fee should be chargeable only from revenue earned from licensed activity and not on activities which were outside the license.

TDSAT, in its ruling said, "In spite of the all pervasive language used in defining Gross Revenue in a telecom license, this tribunal has held that the concept of AGR will apply and income from activities of a licensee which are not part of the licensed activities cannot be included in gross income for purposes of calculating license fee." UNI NAZ SLD HS1738

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