In a letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, India’s Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association (TEMA) raised the issue of defiance by India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
According to the communication, which was also sent to the Minster of Communications & IT Kapil Sibal, TEMA has raised the issue of slackness on the part of the DoT in terms of implementing the directions laid down in the National Telecom Policies of 1994 and 1999 relating to the local telecom equipment induction in the national telecom networks.
“Both the earlier National Telecom Policies of 1994 and 1999 had suggested the induction of indigenous telecom equipment manufactured by the Indian telecom equipment manufacturers which was endorsed by the Parliament of India are being held hostage by the officials of the Department of Telecommunication,” said Mr Ashok K. Aggarwal, Honorary Director General of TEMA.
Aggarwal further added that the recently released draft NTP-2011 also contains similar positive suggestions and directions. Aggarwal, however, expressed his concern and anguish that like the earlier policies of 1994 and 1999, the new policy that is on the anvil may also go unimplemented in the right spirit if the government does not outline a strict time bound mechanism for implementing the same.
While appreciating the PM’s statements at various forums supporting the Indian telecom manufacturing sector, TEMA stated that: “Today the condition of domestic manufacturing sector is at a very dismal level as compared to the vast expansion of our telecom network which is dominated by the imported equipment, meaning thereby that at the current rupee-dollar exchange rate, our import bill will further increase, upsetting our economy. Therefore, it is in the interest of overall economy that the government implements what has been suggested in the two NTPs, and now the draft NTP-2011.”
The organization also made suggestions to boost the domestic manufacturing industry, including:
- Preferential treatment to be mandated for ‘Indian Products’ for which know-how, design control & product IPR resides in India.
- Introduce R&D Cess on all Licensed Telecom Service Providers; Incentivize Service Providers by granting reduced contribution in graded manner on meeting yearly targets of purchasing “Indian Products.”