Amid telecom operators seeking lower levies and early resolution of a dispute over 3G roaming, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said the government will look into their concerns and formulate forward-looking policies to sustain growth in the sector.
“I am aware of some concerns of the telecom industry regarding government policy in the telecom sector. I wish to reassure the industry of the government’s full commitment to sustainable growth, creativity and enterprise in this vitally important sector of our economy,” he said, inaugurating the India Telecom Summit here.
Dr. Singh’s statement comes in the backdrop of a recent meeting of the CEOs of top telecom firms, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Communications, seeking his intervention to sort out differences between them and the Telecom Ministry over issues ranging from one-time spectrum charges to 3G roaming and a uniform licence fee.
Noting that two National Telecom Policies of 1994 and 1999 were major initiatives to propel growth in the sector, the Prime Minister said the government is working on the NTP-2011 with a special emphasis on affordable and quality telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country.
At the same time, he asked the industry to look ahead in giving a new sense of momentum to the sector.
He also emphasised on the need for promoting domestic telecom equipment manufacturing and R&D in the sector.
The India Telecom Summit is organised jointly by the Telecom Ministry and industry chamber FICCI.
India’s telecom sector is one of the fastest growing in the world, he said, adding, “Keeping in view strategic and security interests, there is an urgent need to give impetus to domestic R&D and manufacturing in the telecom sector.”