Government has dropped a proposal to create three funds worth Rs 17,500 crore for promoting production of telecom equipments in the country as it can be covered under the Electronic Development Fund, Parliament was informed today.
“Since the EDF (Electronic Development Fund) would also take care of R&D and manufacturing of telecom products, the proposal to set up three separate funds was dropped,” Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Telecom network being a critical infrastructure, the Working Group for Telecom Sector in the 12th Plan proposed to create three funds with a total corpus of Rs 17,500 crore for promoting research and development and manufacturing of telecom equipments.
The panel proposed a Telecom Manufacturing Promotion Fund of Rs 10,000 crore, Telecom Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund of Rs 2,500 crore and Telecom Research Development Fund of Rs 5,000 crore.
“However, the Cabinet on December 10, 2014 approved a proposal of Department of Electronics and IT to establish an EDF. The EDF is a venture capital fund in the nature of ‘fund of funds’ to participate in professionally managed ‘daughter funds’,” Sinha said.
The daughter funds will provide risk capital to companies developing new technologies in the area of electronics, including telecommunications, nano-electronics and information technology.
“Setting up of EDF is one of the important strategies which would enable creating a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and research and development,” Sinha said.