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India to overhaul age-old telecom policies to achieve digital dreams Telecom Sector
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India to overhaul age-old telecom policies to achieve digital dreams

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 17 Dec 2021, 06:17 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: India plans to revamp its telecommunication sector, the key to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's digital ambitions, but the century-old policies and bitter legal disputes have hindered the government's attempts to develop the sector.

The government is working on ways to allow companies to merge, expand and operate without seeking bureaucratic approvals in order to avoid court battles emanating from them later, Telecommunications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in an interview at his office in New Delhi on Thursday, Economic Times reported.

Vaishnav aims to present new rules in February, the report said.

"Telecom is still governed by an act made in 1885 but things have changed dramatically. And the regulations which flow out of the law are also 60-70 years vintage,” Vaishnaw said, referring to the colonial-era Indian Telegraph Act that gives the government exclusive jurisdiction on the sector. “We are looking at a complete regulation revamp,” he said.

The minister said India aims to start 5G services by October-December 2022, adding that the government wouldn't set a floor rate for tariff and leave it to the companies to decide based on their understanding of their customers.

Vaishnaw, 51, a Wharton graduate, who took charge of ministries of Electronics, Information Technology and Communications in July, has managed to ease the government's strained relationship world's largest technology companies, announced a relief package to the beleaguered mobile phone operators and presented an ambitious plan to lure semiconductor manufacturers to India and make the best use of the global shortage of semiconductors.

Image credit pixabayImage credit pixabay

India must develop a thriving telecom industry to cater to its market of billion-plus users.

Countries like China and South Korea are already using super-fast 5G networks.

The fine print on a $10 billion package of incentives will be notified in a week and as many as five units will start manufacturing in a year, Vaishnaw said, according to Economic Times.

He added that the government will ensure stable policies and facilitate acquiring land, electricity and other inputs, the report said.

“Companies from South Korea, Taiwan and several domestic companies are interested in starting manufacturing here,” he said. “We expect import dependence to come down by at least 50 percent in the next five years.”