COAI welcomes draft telecom policy 2018

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New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) welcomed the draft National Digital Communications Policy 2018 by stating that it will propel India “as a key player in the global knowledge revolution” and “help create 40 lakh new jobs”.

“It is comprehensive, focused, lucid, sets clear strategic goals and is clearly what is required to propel India as a key player in the global knowledge revolution,” Rajan S. Mathews, DG, COAI was quoted as saying in a statement.

“The new policy will pave the way for development of telecom and digital services in the country. It will also help create 40 lakh new jobs, which in turn will improve skill set among the people employed in the telecom sector.”

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According to Mathews, the policy has addressed the long pending concerns of the telecom industry by proposing to review and rationalise various taxes and levies including license fees, spectrum usage charges and the universal service obligation fund, GST.

“The proposed investment of $100 billion in the communication industry will help increase the contribution of telecom sector in the GDP from 6 to 8 per cent,” Mathews said.

“To propel development of the country with use of next generation technology through investment, the policy proposes to attract investments of $100 billion in the digital communications sector by 2022 with help of regulatory reforms.”

On Tuesday, the central government released the draft National Telecom Policy 2018 which aims to attract investments of $100 billion in the Digital Communications sector by reforming the licencing and regulatory regime in the country along with promoting ease of doing business.

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The Draft National Digital Communications Policy – 2018, released on late Tuesday night, said its strategic objectives by 2022 are provisioning of broadband for all, creating 4 million additional jobs in the digital communications sector, and enhancing the contribution of the digital communications sector to 8 per cent of India’s GDP from around 6 per cent in 2017.

It also plans to propel India to the Top 50 nations in the ICT Development Index of International Telecommunication Union from 134 in 2017, enhancing India’s contribution to global value chains and ensuring digital sovereignty.

By 2022 it aims to provide universal broadband coverage at 50 Mbps to every citizen and provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats of India by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022.

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Regarding ease of doing business in India, the policy plans to review levies and fees including License Fee, Universal Service Obligation Fund levy and concept of pass through revenues in line with principles of input line credit.

–IANS

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