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FDI in telecom jumped 5X in 3 years

It reached $ 6.2 billion in 2017-18

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MUMBAI: During the last three years, the Indian telecom sector has not only witnessed major disruptions but also nearly five times jump in foreign direct investment (FDI). While the amount of investment stood at $ 1.3 billion in 2015-16, it reached $ 6.2 billion in 2017-18, Communications minister Manoj Sinha said. The government is also looking at the funding of $100 billion for the draft National Digital Telecommunications Policy.

“India needs massive investment in developing newer technologies which are accessible and affordable to the people and at the same time creates productive employment. For India to utilise its demographic dividend it is absolutely necessary to create semi-skilled jobs in short run, and the telecom sector will play an important role in creating those employment opportunities,” he added.

The sector has also seen a few mergers, acquisitions in the same period. Highlighting that, Sinha said consolidation in the sector will strengthen it. He also calls international investors and telecom players to take part in the growth of the sector as Indian economy is back on the growth trajectory.

He also added India already announced plans to launch commercial 5G networks by the year 2020. The 5G rollout will leave big opportunities for investing in the newer emerging technologies like AI, IoT, data analytics.

Telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan was also present at the occasion. She emphasised the fact that foreign investment is necessary to secure scientific, technical and industrial knowledge. The expert pointed out that the telecom sector has always been one of the core sectors attracting highest FDI inflows and overall this trend has been positive for the past two decades.

“National Digital Communications Policy, 2018, will be the new platform for convergence of all the stakeholders, where we will be working with growth-oriented investment perspective, rather than with fiscal perspective alone,” she added.

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