Govt to garner $2 bln investment for community service centre

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New Delhi, May 24 (UNI) The government will garner two billion dollar investment to set up 1,12,000 community service centres in rural parts of the country to provide it with broadband connectivity in 2008-09, Minister of State for Communications and IT Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia said today.

He further disclosed that 1.5 billion dollar investment for providing broadband access to rural India would be generated through private sector.

Delivering his address in the 2nd Day Assocham organised Global Telecom Summit here, the Minister said the remaining 0.5 billion dollar would be poured into the project from government sources.

Mr Scindia said 1,12,000 community service centres would be set up in 2008-09 at various places in all part of the rural India under the extension of Knowledge Mission, initiatives for which were taken by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Meanwhile, he said the government would declare the much-awaited broadband policy shortly as well a policy for Wi-Max so that connectivity for broadband particularly for rural India becomes easier and convenient and the entire countryside is provided with this facility largely under the public-private partnership (PPP).

The Telecom Ministry would unfold its 3G service guidelines by June and their execution would be effected by end of current calendar, said the Minister.

The aim of the new policies would also be to provide wireless telephone and mobile telephone to almost every households of rural India as promised by the UPA Government by 2010, said the Minister.

He called upon the telecommunication players to adopt a collaborative approach, the benefits of which should be available to end-users as tariff have fallen and there is much more scope that tariffs for short and long distance calls should further come down, provided there is unanimity in the collaborative approaches of telecom manufacturers and policy makers.

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