What India telecom achieved in 20 months

Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at a press meetIndia’s telecom and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today outlined the ministry’s main achievements in the last 20 months.

He addressed a select press briefing in Delhi one day after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget 2016 speech that promised incentives for domestic telecom manufacturing to take off in a big way. Telecom industry body COAI on Monday welcomed the Union Budget.

Ravi Shankar Prasad said India government received proposals worth Rs 120,294 crore for electronics manufacturing between June 2014 and March 2016. The BJP-led India government gave approval worth Rs 18,000 crore for electronics manufacturing.

India manufactured — at production facilities in the country — 11 crore mobile phones in 2015-16 against 5.4 crore during 2014-15. After the duty rationalization in the last Budget, 16 companies have set up mobile manufacturing units in this financial year.

The domestic manufacturers of routers, broadband modems, set-top boxes, digital Video Recorders,  Network Video Recorders,  CCTV Camera,  Lithium- Ion  Battery  would  enjoy   duty   advantage  of  8.5 percent   vis-a-vis  imported  goods. Domestic value addition in mobile phones,  battery,  wired headsets/speakers would enjoy a duty advantage of 10.5 percent vis-a-vis imported goods.

In the   IT/ITeS (IT Enabled Services) sector, sunset  date for Section 10AAof the Income Tax Act allowing tax benefits for IT units in SEZs has been extended from 2017  till 2020.  This will enable technology units to set up and commence operations in SEZs.

The extension of Section 80 JJAA to Income Tax Act for skill development to services companies  as  well. This will permit 30 percent of additional wages paid to new workmen, deductible for 3 years. This  will  give  a  big  boost   to  the   BPO  operations,   which  this   government  is pushing-in  a big way.

During FY 2014-15 FDI equity in telecom sector has touched $2,895 million which is 80 percent more than the  FDI  equity  received during  2012-13  ($304 million) and FY 2013-14  ($1307  million) put together.

Ravi Shankar Prasad said OFC pipe laid reached 124,797 kms (51,616 GPs) till February 2016 against 2,292 kms in June 2014.

Optical fiber laid reached 96,597 kms (41,086 GPs) till February 2016 against 358 kms in June 2014.

IT / ITeS exports have crossed $100 billion.

India’s share in global IT services outsourcing presently is 56 percent.

The total employment in IT /  ITeS sector is 37  lakhs  in this  financial year, out  of which the  net  addition is 2 lakhs.

India Post has installed more than 576 ATMs and has become the largest core banking network having 18,231 branches overtaking the State Bank of India. By March 2016, the number of ATMs will touch 1,000.