The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (Assocham) said that it had approached the department of telecom (DoT) to drop the proposal of mandatory testing of telecom equipment which is used in India after certification from third party global bodies, opposing any more layer of regulation to the highly indebted telecom industry, battling several challenges.
Assocham, in a letter to the telecom secretary and chairperson of the telecom commission, Aruna Sundarajan, said that the move to get the draft guidelines by the Telecom Engineering Centre for mandatory testing of the end to end equipment would add one more layer of regulation and go against the spirit of ‘ease of doing business.
"The telecom industry is “already heavily debt-ridden”, and any more regulatory compliance burden would create serious issues in the global supply chain cycle. Declining revenues, mounting debt, the hyper-competitive marketplace have posed tremendous pressure on network investments, expansions," it said.
The chamber's secretary general D S Rawat said, “products (end to end equipment) are developed keeping in view the relevant legal and regulatory requirements in global markets including India and equipment makers proactively ensure stringent technical and environmental standards The telecom products that are envisaged in mandatory testing by TEC are developed based on various international standards and do undergo rigorous testing and certification regime at international labs for Environment, Health, Safety."
Rawat added that most of the critical telecom infrastructure supplied to operators, and other intermediaries in the entire voice and data chain are being manufactured in India itself, in the spirit of the Make in India programme.
"Instead of adding one more layer of testing, when in doubt, TEC may recognise and review from time to time the test reports and certificates issued by conformity assessment bodies that are internationally reputed to assess whether products conform to the standards and safety requirements, as happening now," Assocham said in its letter.
Assocham has cautioned that this mandatory testing would not only be counter-productive to the industry which is already heavily debt-ridden and would also create serious issues in the global supply chain cycle.
“Declining revenues, mounting debt, the hyper-competitive marketplace have posed tremendous pressure on network investments, expansions. The financial pressure is leading to further debt, and the industry is already going through a rough patch leading to consolidations at both operators as well as the global OEM’s,” it said.