FDI In Telecom Up Five Times To Reach $6.2 Bn : Manoj Sinha

The foreign direct investment or FDI in telecom industry touched $6.2 billion at the end financial year 2018 from $1.3 billion in FY 2016, showing a growth of five times in three years.

This data was shared by telecom minister Manoj Sinha while inaugurating an industry event on the topic ‘FDI in Telecom : The Way Forward’ here in New Delhi.

“India needs massive investment in developing newer technologies which are accessible and affordable to the people and at the same time creates productive employment,” Sinha said. He added that for India to utilize its demographic dividend it is absolutely necessary to create semi-skilled jobs in short run, and the Telecom sector will play an important role in creating those employment opportunities, he added.

He also said the recently announced National Digital Communication Policy 2018 also aims to attract investment of $100 billion or about Rs.6.5 lakh crore in the Digital Communications Sector.

“India has also announced plans to launch commercial 5G networks by the year 2020 and this provides a big opportunity for investing in the newer emerging technologies like 5G, AI, IoT, Data analytics etc,” he added.

Recounting the turbulent times in the Indian telecom sector in last few years, Sinha said the ‘worst is behind us’.

“There were many mergers and acquisitions and a couple of unfortunate insolvency proceedings. However, consolidation in the sector will strengthen it as the worst is behind us,” said Sinha.

He said, numerous steps have been taken in this period to promote the ease of doing business, particularly in the Telecom Sector. To mitigate the stress in Telecom Sector, an Inter-Ministerial Group was established and most of their recommendations have been accepted and are under various stages of implementation.

Shri Sinha said Indian economy is back on the growth trajectory and the 2nd quarter of 2018, GDP showed a promising growth at 8.2%, and India is poised to become third largest economy in the world over the next two decades. Therefore, the Investors/Telecom operators across the world are invited to be part of the growth story of India Telecom through Foreign Direct Investments.

Ms. Anuradha Mitra, Member (Finance), Telecom Commission informed that pursuant to the decision taken to abolish FIPB last year, Department of Telecommunications, is the nodal department for clearing FDI proposals relating to telecommunications sector. It was also informed that necessary processes/systems have been put in place to undertake this work.

On the occasion, Sinha also released a publication titled “Telecom Sector Growth & FDI:A Way Ahead”, which is a compilation of data put together by FIPP Wing of Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT). The compendium attempts to provide relevant information relating to the FDI in telecom and the other sector in India at one place to facilitate the stakeholders.

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