Telecom sector investment crosses $96m mark in Q2 -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Telecom sector investment crosses $96m mark in Q2

TAHIR AMIN

ISLAMABAD: Telecom sector investment rebounded in the second quarter of fiscal year 2012 and crossed the mark of $ 96 million against $ 41.2 million in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, revealed Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) report.

According to the Telecom Quarterly Review, telecom sector of Pakistan attracted substantial investment after the deregulation of the sector. During the last six years, over $ 12 billion have been invested in the telecom infrastructure and new technologies.

As telecom companies have already established most of their networks. Therefore, investment has not been increased during last two years. However, telecom investment rebounded in the second quarter of fiscal year 2012 and crossed the mark of $ 96 million after being low at $ 41.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2012.

This increase is solely due to an increase of $ 53 million in the investment by cellular mobile operators during the last quarter, whereas investment by Local Loop (LL), Wireless Local Loop (WLL) and Long Distance and International (LDI) licence segment in the telecom sector did not show any increase, maintained in the report.

According to the report, over the last four years, annual telecom sector contributions in the national exchequer remained over Rs 110 billion on account of fees, taxes and duties. During the first six months of the current fiscal year, telecom sector contributed Rs 58.1 billion as compared to Rs 56.9 billion during the corresponding period of last year.

Report further said that Federal Excise Duty (FED) and other taxes increased, whereas PTA deposits have dropped to Rs 2.2 billion partly due to low payments on account of initial licences fee of telecom operators. With increasing trends in the revenues of telecom operators, expected fee payment in the next two quarters and a six monthly growth trend in FED/other tax contributions it is expected that the total contributions in the current fiscal year will be over Rs 120 billion. Quarterly revenues of the telecom sector have reached all time high of Rs 99.4 billion during the second quarter of current fiscal year registering a growth of 9.1 percent over the corresponding quarter in previous year, maintained in the report.

Total telecom imports have increased during the last two quarters mostly on account of sharp increase in the imports of cellular mobile handsets. In particular, telecom imports during the second quarter of fiscal year 2012 remained at $ 216 million compared to $ 191 million during the corresponding period last year. During the same period, the quarterly imports of cellular mobile sets have almost tripled reaching $104 million during the last quarter.

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