Never thought I would agree with anything Varun Gandhi said or wrote. When he forgets about chopping off hands and all that, he seems to make sense. Pull the plug on diesel subsidy.
As diesel prices are subsidised by around 21 per cent, the telecommunication sector is able to purchase diesel at a very low price for its operations. This is causing the country's exchequer a massive annual loss of more than Rs 2,600 crore, whereas the Telecom Industry is witnessing a growth of profits by 10 per cent per annum.
This makes sense too:
At the same time, the government should also introduce appropriate incentives to encourage the telecom sector to use renewable energy for generation of power for their network infrastructure. For this, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy also needs to review its policies.
In any case, we the taxpayers are subsidising the telecom operators' profits. Let us at least do it for the right reason.
India has around 3.5 lakh telecom towers of which about 70 per cent are in rural areas. At present, 40 per cent power requirements are met by grid electricity and 60 per cent by diesel generators.
The diesel generators are of 10-15 KVA capacity and consume about 2 litres of diesel an hour and produce 2.63 kg of CO2 a litre, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. The total consumption is 2 billion litres of diesel and 5.3 million litres of CO2 is produced. For every KWH of grid electricity consumed, 0.84 kg of CO2 is emitted.