The telecom department has come up with Broadband for all and around 4 million employment opportunities under its new Policy
The National Digital Communications Policy, the new telecom policy, has been approved by the Union Cabinet, thereby paving the way for drawing investments worth $100 billion to India by 2022.
Policy to attract investments
The policy supports the principles of net neutrality and rationalisation of spectrum charges besides the broadband for all plan. It also aims to create an additional 4 million jobs in the digital communications section and increase its 6 per cent GDP contribution to 8 per cent.
Manoj Sinha, telecom minister said that the telecom industry should not only generate revenue but also contribute to the socio-economic growth. He added that with emerging technologies like 5G and Internet of Things (IoT), the telecom department should have a new consumer-centric and application-centric policy.
It aims to draw investments by rechecking taxes and other licensing fees paid by telecoms that stand at 3-6 per cent and 8 per cent of their adjusted gross revenues presently. The refreshed policy also stresses on low-cost financing as the need of the hour for the telecom providers who are steeped in debt.
Rajan Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), hopes for timely implementation of the policy as he believes it addresses the financial issue of the telecom sector in the country by reducing taxes and increasing ease of doing business.
The National Digital Communications Policy has planned to ensure 50 Mbps broadband connectivity to every citizen. By 2020, it wants to cater to all the Gram Panchayats of India with 1 Gbps connection and by 2022, it will be raised to 10 Gbps. The 5 years plan also wants to implement emerging technologies like 5G artificial intelligence, robotics, internet of things and cloud computing in the communications section. It has stressed on increasing the local manufacturing of telecom equipment besides creating 10 million Wi-Fi hotspots by 2022.
Telecom’s new policy aims to boost India’s contribution to global value and bring it the top 50 countries in the Information and Communications Technology Development Index from its 134th ranking in 2017.