New Delhi, Dec 12: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today emphasised on the need for a fair, transparent, equitable and forward looking policy regime for making spectrum available.
“It (policy regime) should not create entry barriers to newcomers or barriers to the continued growth of the sector," said Singh at the India Telecom 2007 summit. He further said, “I am aware that spectrum availability can be a constraint for the growth of this sector in future." Singh went on to say that he has asked the Group of Ministers “to expeditiously conclude its deliberations and suggest a roadmap regarding availability and timing."
Pointing out other concerning issues of the telecom sector, Singh said, “Although the growth in the last few years has been impressive and our tariffs are among the lowest in the world, vast stretches of our rural areas have little or no telecom penetration. Rural tele-density is still in single digits."
He urged the industry to “rise to the challenge by devising innovative mechanisms for achieving our collective ambitions."
Singh also expressed his concern about telecom Research and Development, and manufacturing capabilities.
“Can we have a sector where we are world-class in telecom networks, but do not have an adequate manufacturing presence," he questioned.
Singh stressed upon need to create an ecosystem for the rapid growth of manufacturing for telecommunication products. “We need to build on our well recognised capabilities in software and IT to establish a large scale presence in manufacturing as well," he added.
Expressing his happiness over the booming telecom sector, Singh said that the key to it has been liberalisation, reforms and competition.
Telecom sector has benefited from the removal of “state monopolies, reduction in entry barriers to new firms, creation of a level playing field between incumbents and new entrants, and most importantly, forward looking and even-handed regulation which has promoted competition and consumer interests," he said.