Telecom department assures subsidies and grants for operators moving towards green technology
Wih the increasing focus on green technologies to protect the environment, The telecom department is trying to motivate the Indian service providers to consider green energy technologies.
According to sources, the telecom department plans to facilitate a mix of subsidies, grants and overseas borrowings through multilateral agencies to encourage the Indian telecom service providers to invest in green energy technologies mandated by the government. It is also expected to push for other financing options by leveraging the infrastructure status available to tower operators.
The green telecom policy requires mobile operators to migrate 50 per cent of all cell towers in rural areas and 20 per cent in urban areas to hybrid power by 2015. However the telecom companies claim that they cannot afford the huge expenses needed to set up capacity for generating alternate sources of energy like solar, fuel cells, wind or biomass to meet DoT’s green energy targets.
As such, as part of financing alternatives, tower companies would be eligible to easy bank financing, by way of softer interest rates and longer loan tenures since telecom towers enjoy infrastructure status. They will also be eligible for higher overseas borrowing limits, lower import duties and excise exemptions on telecom infrastructure equipment.