The Centre will soon come out with detailed guidelines for importing telecom equipment into the country.
“We are going to finalise a methodology to ensure that import of telecom equipment is streamlined,” Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology Sachin Pilot told journalists here on Thursday.
Asserting that the concerns over ban on import of telecom equipment were not targeted at any particular company or country, Mr. Pilot said the move was aimed at streamlining the country's national safety and security concerns.
The government was aware of the difficulties being faced by telecom operators on the issue, he added.
Almost all telecom companies have approached the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on difficulties they are facing in importing equipment from Chinese vendors, which was affecting their rollout obligations and expansion projects.
Though DoT has been denying any blanket ban on import of telecom equipment from China, leading Chinese equipment manufacturers like Huawei and ZTE have been complaining that the government has not approved their deals in the past few months.
Meanwhile, the Union Government has decided to exempt domestic power companies, which are importing power related equipment from Chinese companies, from security related restrictions that now apply to the telecom sector.
A decision on the issue was taken at the Prime Minister's Office level after a high level review of the situation. It was felt that the two sectors should not be treated on a par and the power equipment industry should be exempted from any kind of security related restrictions.
The issue of review of security norms for importing telecom equipment meant for developing the Smart Grid System in the power sector came up for discussion during the review meeting.
It was felt that standalone equipment for plants and power systems do not have associated security concerns and therefore they should be exempted from security considerations.
Keywords: telecom equipment