Sri Lanka: Universal service funds disbursed, finally

Posted on March 1, 2009  /  0 Comments

As part of the international telecom services liberalization of 2003, the government started collecting a levy from international calls for universal service. The intention was to reduce the amounts every year and also to give out the money as quickly as possible. What happened was different. The percentage was not reduced and money was not disbursed. Finally, it has started to flow out.

SLT said in a stock exchange filing it has transferred 2.18 billion rupees to its books as part of a refund from the Telecommunications Development Charge (TDC).

This is administered by the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC).

The refund, given to telecom firms for rolling out their services to rural areas that are considered inadequately served, had been delayed for some time.

But without the government rebate, SLT profits for the December quarter were down almost 40 percent from a year ago, according to the interim results.

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