Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said a strong domestic manufacturing base in electronics and telecommunications will mitigate burden of growing imports for the sector.
"India needs to develop a strong domestic manufacturing base in electronics and telecommunications," Singh said in his inaugural address at the industry event 'India Telecom 2013'.
He said by 2020, it is estimated India will be importing electronics products worth about 300 billion dollars, which will be more than the value of the country's imports of petroleum products.
"We need to act now to avoid a situation where we face difficulties in financing these huge imports. India should have manufacturing facilities which result in a balanced trade in electronics products and are a part of global supply chains," Singh said.
Talking about policies in the telecom sector, Singh said National Telecom Policy 2012 has brought clarity on number of issues in the sector.
"I understand that the Department of Telecommunications has already started issuing Unified Licenses and will also shortly issue the Merger and Acquisition guidelines," he said.
The Empowered Group of Ministers early this week firmed up their views on M&A rules and the same has to be placed before cabinet for approval.
Elaborating on use of telecom technologies for modernising systems, Singh touched upon Telecom Ministry's plan to provide 3G connectivity with computers for students.
"Combining a computer with 3G connectivity can revolutionise the delivery of education. Students can learn the subject of their choice from quality teachers without leaving the place of their residence. I am told that the Telecom Commission is working on such possibilities and I wish them all success in this noble endeavour," he said.
The Ministry is learnt to be in process of developing a project under which a tablet PC will be given to students with 3G connection. But the proposal is yet to receive nod of inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission after which it may have to seek approval of Cabinet for final implementation.
Asked whether the ambitious Women's Reservation Bill will be brought up in Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister said, "we will arrive at a consensus with regard to the legislations that should be brought in Parliament for discussion and decision making and we seek the cooperation of all segments of the House to ensure smooth passage of the legislations."
The constitutional amendment bill, which seeks to give 33 per cent reservation to women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies, was passed in Rajya Sabha in March 2010 amid bedlam and is pending in the lower House amid opposition by parties, including SP, JD(U) and RJD.
The Prime Minister said since the Winter session, with 12 sittings, is of a "very short duration, it is obligatory on all political parties represented in our Parliament to make their best possible efforts to get essential business transacted as quickly, as smoothly as possible."