Package for telecom manufacturing in NTP, says telecom secretary

The new telecom policy (NTP) will include a package to boost domestic manufacturing of equipment to cut dependence on imports and create local jobs, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said today.

In an interview to PTI, she said work on the policy blueprint is likely to start after the September 8 meeting of the Telecom Commission — the highest decision making body for telecom sector.

The NTP roadmap will be placed before the inter- ministerial panel this week, she said. “Big thrust of the policy is internet for all and second is make in India.”

To begin with, the policy draft will be placed in public domain for wider consultation by December or January, she said.

If India has to reduce dependency on import, there is need to encourage local telecom companies to not just make for India but also for overseas markets like middle east Asia and Africa, she said.

“It will have to be enabling environment which can catalyse on make in India. We will be strengthening the preferential market access policy. As we develop local capability for manufacturing we will be ensuring that more and more manufacturing happens here. Not just for India but other countries which could be Africa, Middle east Asia, etc,” Sundararajan said.

The NTP will look at incorporating provisions to encourage incorporating of product designs developed in the country.

“There is lot of indigenous capability which is there whether it is routers, security equipments, machine-to-machine etc. All these are areas where indigenous design and manufacturing capabilities are there.

“If we do not want forever to be an importer of products from outside we will have to make sure that local companies are encouraged,” Sundararajan said.

She added that the government also wants to support growth of international companies who have set-up manufacturing facilities here.

Talking about connectivity push under the NTP, she said that the government will focus on connecting around 40,000 villages and increase availability of regular internet access facility from 30 crore people to 70 crore by 2022.

Besides, this the NTP will focus to encourage creation of 2.5-3 lakh jobs in the telecom sector over period of next 5 years, she said.

The Department of Telecom will also hold regional consultations for framing up the new policy. The department has also created working groups to start consultation process.

“Already, informally, the work has started but we expect they (working groups) will formally get down to work after the first Telecom Commission meeting on the September 8,” Sundararajan said.

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