Pricier mobile bills, as reports have been re-iterating, since yesterday are going to be the norm, post Budget 2012. A Times of India report now confirms that Bharti Airtel subscribers, too should brace themselves for fatter mobile bills, following an increased service tax, as stated in the budget. This confirmation comes from the Bharti Airtel CEO for India and South Asia, Sanjay Kapoor, himself. Kapoor added that the Union Budget 2012 did not announce anything specifically for the telecom sector and that the industry's awaiting the New Telecom Policy that is scheduled to arrive in June. In one of our earlier reports, citing the changes the Union Budget is going to make, we had stated that the 2 percent rise in the service tax (from 10 percent to 12 percent) will be pushed down to the subscribers, invariably, resulting in increased mobile tariffs.
The report further adds that with the new telecom policy, subscribers should witness the end of roaming charges. Also, one of telecom sector's most ambitious moves – Mobile Number Portability will take on a complete nation entity. Quoting Kapoor, the report adds, “On an overall basis, there is nothing that changes the fortunes of the telecom company. They have got more on stake on the telecom policy per se which we are expecting to follow the budget.” He added, “About 30 percent of what customers pays to a telecom company goes in some sort of taxation or the other and I am not talking about indirect taxation which is income tax. Now when you increase the service service tax it is obviously a further enhancement of those levies for the industry.” In the week(s) to come, subscribers can expect such updates about price hikes about all service providers coming up, since each one of them will be reeling under the added tax levied by the government.