Anand Sharma bats for 100% FDI in telecom

Telecom Lead India: Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma has supported for 100 percent FDI (foreign direct investment) in the telecom sector.

The FDI cap is currently fixed at 74 percent in the Indian telecom sector.

The government feels increasing the FDI to 100 percent from the present 74 percent will encourage foreign companies to take a relook at their India strategies.

Currently, Vodafone, SingTel, Maxis, Axiata, AT&T, BT, Verizon and NTT Docomo are some of the telecom giants working in India through their own operations or via joint ventures.

After the Supreme Court in February 2012 canceled 122 licenses in the wake of 2G scam, FDI into the world’s second-largest telecom market reduced 85 percent to $304 million in the year ended March 31, from $2 billion in the previous 12 months.

Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma, who leaves for a 10-day visit beginning Monday to Helsinki, St Petersburg, Belfast and London, said he will address all the concerns of foreign retail sector investors and ensure all help in setting up stores. Further, he added that his department will soon move Cabinet for further liberalization in other sectors which hold potential for FDI inflows.

The minister would be meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with finance minister P Chidambaram and defense minister AK Antony to discuss the liberalization of the foreign investment in the two sectors.

Recently, DoT panel suggested completely opening up the telecom sector to FDI, a move which is expected to bring in fresh funds into the industry that is facing a financial crisis.

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