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Parliament passes bill to simplify telecom sector guidelines, continue reforms Parliament
Image Credit: UNI

Parliament passes bill to simplify telecom sector guidelines, continue reforms

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 21 Dec 2023, 09:45 pm

New Delhi/IBNS/UNI: The Parliament on Thursday passed the Telecommunications Bill, 2023 with Rajya Sabha approving the legislation seeking to simplify licensing and regulatory norms governing the telecom sector.

The Upper House passed the Bill by voice vote after a brief discussion. The Lok Sabha had passed the draft telecom law on Dec 20.

The Bill repeals the Indian Telegraph Act, of 1885, the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, of 1933, and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, of 1950.

The Telecommunications Bill, 2023 amends and consolidates the laws relating to the development, expansion, and operation of telecom services and telecom networks. It also deals with the assignment of spectrum transparently.

Replying to the discussion on the Bill, Union Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the Bill has been prepared to keep the citizens at the Centre.

The Minister said that the Bill provides for preventing impersonation and issuance of SIMs by fraudulent means.

Vaishnaw said that the punishment for acquiring a SIM card through fraudulent means using forged documents includes a three-year jail term and a monetary penalty of upto Rs 50 lakh.

He highlighted various reforms undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government and said that the telecom sector has in the last nine and half years come out of a difficult phase and emerged as the sunrise sector.

The Minister said that most of the equipment used in the 5G network rollout is made in India. Moreover, he said that India is now exporting telecom equipment designed and made in the country.

He noted that the ecosystem that has been developed in the last nine and half years has resulted in India exporting telecom equipment worth about Rs 8,000 crore to various countries including the US.

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