Reforms to change framework of Indian telecom sector: Minister

New Delhi: As the Union Cabinet approved several reforms and relief measures for the telecom sector, Union Minister for Communications, Ashwini Vaishnaw said that these measures will change the entire framework of the Indian telecom sector.

Among several decisions, the Cabinet has approved a four-year moratorium on all dues by telecom operators including the adjusted gross revenue (AGR), however, those operators availing the moratorium will have to pay interest of “MCLR+2 per cent” and a change in the definition of AGR.

Post the change in definition all non-telecom revenue will not be calculated under AGR, prospectively.

The decisions came at a time when the sector is going through severe stress and is on the brink of duopoly with Vodafone Idea in a beleaguered state.

Vodafone Idea would be most benefited from the government decision on moratorium on dues.

Addressing the media post the Cabinet meeting, the minister said: “Today, 9 structural reforms and 5 process reforms in the telecom sector have been approved. These reforms will change the framework of the entire telecom sector.”

In another major move, the Cabinet has allowed 100 per cent FDI in telecom under the automatic route.

Further, spectrum user charges will be rationalized and there will be now an annual compounding of rates. Spectrum can now be surrendered and also shared by the telcos.


India ushers in PLI for auto sector, focus on EVs

New Delhi: The government has approved a PLI scheme for the auto sector, especially focusing on environment-friendly automobiles such as electric vehicles (EVs).

The over Rs 25,000 crore scheme is likely to boost production of components as well as give a push to the sector.

In financial parlance, a PLI scheme provides incentives to the industry for boosting domestic production to lessen imports.

Earlier, an outlay of Rs 1.97 lakh crore was made for PLI scheme spanning 13 sectors in budget 2021-22.

As per an official communique, the scheme for the auto sector envisages to overcome the cost disabilities to the industry for manufacture of “advanced automotive technology” products in India.

“The incentive structure will encourage industry to make fresh investments for indigenous global supply chain of ‘Advanced Automotive Technology’ products,” the communique said.

“It is estimated that over a period of five years, the PLI Scheme for Automobile and Auto Components Industry will lead to fresh investment of over Rs 42,500 crore, incremental production of over Rs 2.3 lakh crore and will create additional employment opportunities of over 7.5 lakh jobs.

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