We foresee the Telecom operators in Pakistan to come across another revenue leeching regulation via converting its BTS (Base Transmit/Receive Station) to the solar energy. Muhammad Safdar, the Chairman Cpt (R) asked for the time required for this conversion, in a meeting recently arranged by the National assembly standing committee for Information Technology. Awais Laghari further explained that there is no such regulation that would assure maximum cooperation from telecom operators for converting the towers into solar power exclusively.
As a matter of fact the solar solution is yet too expensive in the country for government isn’t paying any attention to subsidize the sector, lack of the solar manufacturing plants locally and the high import duties on the electronic equipment. After the $1 billion investment in the 3G/4G spectrum auction and in the 3G/4G rollout worth $500-$600 million in the subsequent year, this project of conversion to the solar power can prove another mega-investment project for the telecom operators.
In addition to security and maintenance charges telecom operators deal with 3 layers of expenses for 24/7 that are:
- Diesel/petrol for the generator
The most lucrative sector of Pakistan, Telcom can be seen staggering for the past few years combining the recurring costs of about 25.5 million cells with the rampant 40% taxation scheme.
Stated by Aamir Ibrahim, the Mobilink CCO and Deputy CEO:
“As mentioned telecommunications have 120 million SIMS and hence the mechanism of collecting taxes becomes very easy for the government. Taxation level for this country counts as the third of our total revenue”
Minister of IT Miss Anusha Rahman regarded the taxation issue and the demand of its rationalization by telecom operators as the reason for absence of notables at the meeting.
“Regarding the absence of telco seniors from the meeting by the National Assembly Standing Committee, Cpt (R) remarked that the reason was his resign from the seat”
The current Chairman’s resign can be beneficial for the substitute might be able to take the telecom operators plea of tax rationalization on the board to government