India today announced a new draft federal telecom policy that aims to provide broadband on demand and at a download speed of 512 kbps and make the country a global hub for the manufacturing of telecoms gear.
It aims for as much as 80 per cent of telecoms gear to be used in India to be manufactured indigenously within a decade and that research and development in telecoms be made one of the national priorities.
The aim is also to make the country’s telecoms sector more transparent and relax the rules for mergers and acquisitions in wireless services. India’s previous telecoms minister is currently in jail, on accusations of having made huge sums of money through corrupt deals that favoured individual wireless service providers.
Kapil Sibal, minister for communications and information technology, said while announcing today’s draft policy that it is also intended to recognize telecoms as an infrastructure sector by giving it tax concessions, and extend preferential status to 'Made in India' telecoms hardware products.
Just as in the case of the recently announced draft policies on electronics manufacturing and information technology, this one too was short on details, something that will apparently by filled when the full-fledged policy is announced by the year-end.