New Telecom Likely to Be Rolled out Next Month: Telecom Secy

New Delhi, May 4 (PTI) The telecom department looks to send the proposed telecom policy to the Cabinet in four weeks with a view to rolling out the new regime by next month, a top official said today.

The department released the draft of the proposed telecom policy, branded as National Digital Communications Policy 2018, yesterday.

It aims to attract USD 100 billion or about Rs 6.5 lakh crore investments in the digital communications sector by 2022 with the help of reforms.

"We want to place it (the telecom policy) before the Cabinet in four weeks. It will be open for public comments for two weeks, then we will finalise everything in a week and send to the Cabinet after that. It will be in place in June," Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told reporters here.

"Investment if ... have to come there has to be a robust growth potential in the market. Given that India is only still at 30 per cent penetration of broadband and now we are looking at 100 per cent penetrations.

"This undoubtedly is market with the largest growth potential. People need reasonable rate of return. There is a huge digitisation going on in this country. Therefore, there is enough potential for anybody to expect robust rate of return," she said.

The secretary said that the industry is under stress but it will stabilise once phase of consolidation is over and investment starts flowing in.

"I expect new players to come in for new services. Some new players may come in once we review SATCOM (satellite communication) policy," she said.

Promising rationalisation of levies such as spectrum charges to rejuvenate debt-ridden telecom sector, the proposed new telecom policy seeks to provide broadband access to all with 50 mbps speed, 5G services and create 40 lakh new jobs by 2022.

"These (rationalisation of spectrum related charges and other levies) things should not lead to reduction in (government ) revenue. Department's view is that we may see expansion in revenue because the ecosystem will be much larger," Sundararajan said.

She said that spectrum usage charges will be rationalised within the ongoing financial year.

"SUC will be rationalised so that it will cover only administrative charges. It is very clear intent and direction in which we want to go. That will get done. We are in view that levies should be in line with input tax credit system," Sundararajan said.

The DoT is going to set-up committee to work on modalities for rationalisation of spectrum charges and levies.

"Our first objective is to get all unsold spectrum sold. We have said very clearly if we have to grow three-fold that will require much larger to be spectrum available, adequate fibre to backhaul all of this. We have said optical pricing of spectrum. We have to take in account primary objective of spectrum," Sundarajan said.

On the backhaul spectrum allocation in E and V band, she said that DoT is yet to take final on it and looking at allocating the spectrum in line with global best practices.

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