Aiming to promote the telecom equipment manufacturing industry in the country, Trai on Monday floated a consultation paper through which it wants to deliberate on issues impacting the sector and explore ways to boost FDI and bring down exports.
Aiming to promote the telecom equipment manufacturing industry in the country, Trai on Monday floated a consultation paper through which it wants to deliberate on issues impacting the sector and explore ways to boost FDI and bring down exports. Previously, Trai had come out with its recommendations in 2011 on telecom equipment manufacturing policy. “The present consultation paper has therefore been aimed to realistically assess India’s true potential in equipment manufacturing with the aim to arrive at recommendations that would enable Indian telecom industry to transition from an import-dependent industry to a global hub for manufacturing,” Trai said.
Even as the mobile handset manufacturing industry has shown good progress in the last five years, same cannot be said for telecom equipment manufacturing, Trai said, adding that while a liberal trade policy enabling import of telecom equipment with low or no duty has kept both service providers and consumers happy, the lack of capacity building for domestic production poses a serious challenge to India’s continued success.
“Apart from economic reasons, the security concerns arising out of excessive reliance on foreign manufactured products also suggest that India should aim at achieving self-sufficiency in telecom equipment manufacturing,” the regulator explained.
Citing government data, Trai said import of telecom equipment has grown at 16.3% annually, whereas exports have declined to 17.98% during 2012-13 to 2015-16. There is a phased manufacturing programme (PMP) for mobile handsets, but no such policy or scheme has been proposed for telecom equipment such as basetransreceiver stations (BTS), etc. Under this consultation process, which will take around 6-9 months to conclude, Trai has asked stakeholders to identify policy steps required to boost innovation and productivity of domestic telecom manufacturing. The stakeholders have also been asked to provide their comments on standardisation, certification and testing, issues related to patents, the impact of current incentives, among others.