NEW DELHI: Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said on Friday that the new telecom policy was likely to be rolled out by next month. “We want to place 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,” Sundararajan said. The draft for the new policy, which is expected to bring much-needed change for the financially sick sector, was issued by the department of telecom earlier this week.
The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 aims to attract $100 billion investments in the digital communications sector by 2022 by bringing certain reforms in the sector. The new policy proposes to address the woes of the sector by rationalizing spectrum usage charges and universal service obligation fund levy, which add to the cost of telecom services. It also promises 40 lakh new jobs by 2022, beside proposing broadband access to all with a speed of 50 mbps.
“The investment in the sector will come once industry stabilises. There are efforts to stabilise industry soon. The crux of the policy is to have broadband for all,” Sundararajan said. Discussions between different stakeholders and the telecom department to frame a new and sector-friendly telecom policy have been on for the last one year. Reeling under a huge debt of Rs 4.6 lakh crore, the stakeholders have been asking for reforms and financial aid. For example, telecom operators at present pay nearly 30 per cent of their annual income to the government in the form of taxes, spectrum usage charge and licence fees.