India will become a major exporter of telecom equipment in the next two to three years and the government is working to achieve that goal, communications minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Saturday.
The statement from the minister follows the government’s meeting with 42 companies including Nokia, Samsung, Jabil, HFCL and Tejas Networks, among others, last month, which got approval for the production linked incentive (PLI) and design-linked incentive (DLI) schemes for domestic manufacturing of telecom and networking equipments.
“Electronics manufacturing in India has come to that level that the country today is the second largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world. Similarly, in the next two to three years it will emerge as a major exporter of telecom equipments as well,” Vaishnaw said at the Digital India Awards.
In February 2021, the government had introduced the PLI scheme for manufacturing of telecom and networking equipment with an outlay of Rs 12,195 crore over a five-year period. The government in June last year approved 31 companies, including Dixon Technologies, Nokia India and Foxconn, to manufacture telecom equipment under the scheme.
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Further, the government amended the existing scheme to include design-led manufacturers into it. The existing companies under the PLI scheme for telecom and networking products were allowed to add more products and apply under the DLI scheme with an additional incentive of 1% over the existing incentive rates. For the DLI scheme, the government has kept aside Rs 4,000 crore as incentives out of the total outlay of Rs 12,195 crore.
Last month, the government had also announced setting up four to five taskforces for developing component ecosystem in the country, developing some chipsets (used in radio equipment) and bringing them into production, developing highly skilled designers and workers in the telecom sector, and for simplifying testing and certification of equipment.
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Apart from the push on telecom equipment exports, Vaishnaw also said the government will focus on providing easy micro-credit facility of Rs 3,000-5,000 to street vendors and small businesses digitally.
“In 2023, there will be a big focus on extending easy credit to small businesses, street vendors on easy terms and simplified manner,” Vaishnaw added.
Speaking on last-mile 4G and 5G connectivity, the minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has allocated Rs 52,000 crore for the same. Further, the government is also aiming for a massive rollout of indigenous 4G and 5G technology stacks in the country during the year.