Telecom Gear Makers Applaud Trai Recommendations to Boost Local Manufacturing of Equipment

New Delhi, Aug 3 (PTI) Domestic telecom gear makers today applauded regulator Trai's recommendations on boosting local manufacturing and adopting measures to push usage of indigenous products in telecom networks.

"The Trai recommendations to promote local telecom equipment manufacturing is a welcome move by the regulator. The aim to make India net zero importer of telecom equipment by 2022 is particularly noteworthy," Sanjeev Kakkar, vice chairman, Telecom System Design and Manufacturing, said in a statement.

The regulator's recommendations -- 18 in all -- issued today are aimed at transforming the telecom manufacturing sector from being "import-dependent" to a global hub of indigenous manufacturing. Trai noted that while telecom services have grown at a scotching pace, telecom equipment manufacturing has not kept up pace.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has recommended that India should aim to achieve the objective of 'net zero imports of telecommunication equipment' by 2022.

"It is now critical that these recommendations are implemented in true spirit for the benefit of the domestic manufacturers and thereby the country," Kakkar said.

Trai has also favoured creation of a Telecom Research and Development Fund with an initial corpus of Rs 1,000 crore to give a fillip to research, innovation, design, testing, certification and manufacturing of indigenous telecom equipment.

The regulator has also asked the Department of Telecom to consider setting up Telecom Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund (TEPF) and Telecom Manufacturing Promotion Fund (TMPF). The recommendations also pitched for setting up of Telecommunication Equipment Development Board (TEDB) under the the department for faster decision making on funding and incentives.

Trai also called for streamlining of permissions for trials or pilots of new technologies or products.

The regulator has recommended that the progress of indigenous telecommunication equipment manufacturing in the country be monitored in the Telecom Department at least at the level of member, Telecom Commission.

"Of prime value is Trai's suggestion that the local manufacturing be looked after at the level of member in Telecom Commission. In fact earlier Member Production was solely responsible for promotion of local manufacturing. Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association of India (TEMA) requests that this post be filled up immediately," NK Goyal, Chairman Emeritus, TEMA, said.

He said Telecom Equipment Manufacturing Council (TEMC) has made several recommendations in the past and TEMA request that their recommendations be accepted immediately.

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