New telecom policy to be in place by July end: Minister

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Jun 2018 09:59:10




THE new telecom policy is expected to be cleared by the Union Cabinet by the end of next month, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday. “I am hopeful of getting Cabinet approval on NDCP (6x increase in public spending from Rs 9,000 crore in 2009-14 to Rs 60,000 crore in 2014-19 (actual +planned) by end of July,” he said while talking about the achievement of the Government in the last 4 years. The Government has recently issued the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) which aims to provide access to every household with download speed of 50 Mbps, attract investment of around Rs 6.5 lakh crore in the sector and create 4 million new job opportunities with a few years. “When this Government came to power, the sector was in turmoil. There was trust deficit among stakeholders which we have reestablished now,” Sinha said.

On the Department of Posts (DoP), he said that it is waiting for approval of Reserve Bank of India to start 650 branches of India Post payments Bank which will be connected with all 1.5 lakh post office branches gradually and create India’s largest banking network. He said his Ministry is working to create a separate insurance company under DoP. DoT special secretary N Sivasailam said that there has been increase in public spending by six times, from Rs 9,000 crore in 2009-14 to Rs 60,000 crore in 2014-19, which includes both actual and planned expenditure.

In last three years investment in the sector has crossed Rs 3 lakh crore, from both government and private firms, which is one-third of Rs 9 lakh crore spend on the sector till date, he said. Sivasailam said work is on to roll out 4,072 mobile towers with an outlay of Rs 7,330 crore by 2020, setting up of over 10 lakh wifi hotspots in rural areas over and above 25,000 wifi hotspots of BSNL and 7000 e-choupal with outlay of Rs 10,000 crore. The Government is also working on Rs 2,250 crore submarine and mobile network connectivity in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands and Rs 10,834 crore project for connectivity in the north eastern States.