The National Digital Communications Policy 2018, which was proposed in the first week of May is now expected to receive cabinet approval by the end of July. The telecom policy is expected to be in place by July 2018 said Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha. “By July-end I am hopeful that the Cabinet approval will come for the National Digital Communications Policy,” Sinha told reporters here. Sinha spoke to reporters at a press meet to share the achievements of Department of Telecommunications and Department of Posts in the last four years. Talking about the achievements in the last four years, Sinha said: “When we took over telecom department it had challenges like trust deficit. The sector was in turmoil. In the last four years, we have brought in transparency and good governance.”
Back on May 1, 2018, the government released the draft of National Digital Communications Policy 2018, seeking comments from stakeholders and the public. Very recently, the deadline for the comments was extended until mid-June, and according to Manoj Sinha, the cabinet will likely approve the policy by July-end.
The new telecom policy is aiming to attract investments of $100 billion which translates to Rs 6.7 lakh crores in the Indian Digital Communications sector. This is the reason why the government did not name the policy as National Telecom Policy as it outlines several digital innovations. The NDCP 2018 is also expected to form a regulatory regime in the country along with promoting the ease of doing business.
In the NDCP 2018, the government discussed what things to be put in place until 2022. It outlined the provisioning of broadband for all, enhancing the contribution of the digital communications sector to 8% of India’s GDP from around 6% in 2017. The policy also aims to create four million additional jobs in the digital communications sector.
By 2022, the government aims to provide 50 Mbps of broadband connection to every individual. It also aims to move India to the Top 50 nations in the ICT Development Index of International Telecommunication Union from 134 in 2017.
Sinha also spoke about the current position of Indian telecom sector which is going through a lot of consolidations that in-turn is resulting in job losses. He said “Consolidation is happening across the world. India is not out of that. After consolidation, there will be major four to five players in the market.”
The In-Flight connectivity is also under works and is expected to be rolled out to the travellers by December 2018.
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