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|October 8, 1997||
US companies promised lower telecom accounting ratesTelecommunication Secretary A V Gokak has assured US telecom companies that telecom accounting rates between India and the US will show a downtrend soon.
At the US-India Telecommunication Conference, organised jointly by the US Trade and Development Agency and the Confederation of Indian Industries, in New Delhi on Tuesday, he said the accounting rates have already fallen from $2.25 to $1.5 per minute and are expected to go down further.
Gokak said the government has removed many hurdles for the telecom industry but it is not enough to improve the viability of the projects as it depends on factors such as licence fees quoted by the operators.
"Project appraisal is one area where our financial institutions, banks and consultants have to develop the expertise," he said.
Gokak said the government has recognised the importance of a policy for financing telecom projects and an inter-institutional group is looking into the matter.
The group has also made the recommendation that the licence period should be increased to 15 years with the payment of a licence fee on the basis of net present value.
The transferability of licences and change of partners are other major difficulties faced by the companies.
"A sympathetic approach can be adopted for the request of transfer of licences if the promoters retain a minimum of 10 per cent equity for five years," he said.
The problem in changing the partner is also being looked into and will be resolved soon, he added.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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