FDI in telecom sector has jumped manifold

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Foreign direct investment (FDI) attracted by the telecom sector in India has jumped to more than $10 billion (bn) in first eight months of 2016-17 registering a 6-7 fold increase as against $1.3 bn in 2014-15 and $2.9 bn in 2015-16, Telecom Secretary, J S Deepak said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi on Wednesday.

FDI, telecom, India

Deepak while addressing an ‘ASSOCHAM National Summit on e-Governance and Digital India said that the telecom sector reforms heralded by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) have got a resounding acknowledgement and he hopes that this will not only represent a word of confidence on what is being done in the area of policy regulations and reforms but also the commitment and a roadmap of further expansion of the work in telecom sector.

He said that considering about 97 per cent of population is covered by the 2G telecom network provided mostly by private telecom operators, there is a need to both popularise and simplify USSD (unstructured supplementary service data).

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He also emphasised upon how the Digital India vision is helping in making government to citizen services presence-less, paperless and cashless.

In his address at the ASSOCHAM summit, R S Sharma, chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) informed that his organisation is working along with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to simplify USSD transactions for 70 per cent of feature phone users across India.

The TRAI chairman also said that demonetisation move of the government will certainly be a catalyst for Digital India. He also suggested for the need to decentralise cyber security initiatives in India.

While Y S Chowdary, Union minister of state for science and technology and earth sciences in his address at the ASSOCHAM event said that the success of digital India can only be seen when the divide is reduced.

By Baishakhi Dutta

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