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Make India a global Telecom manufacturing Hub: ASSOCHAM

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New Delhi, Apr 6 (UNI) More global telecom manufacturers should come to India in order to make the country a global telecom manufacturing hub, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) said today.

The Chamber has also requested that domestic telecom manufacturing should be positioned in such a way, so as to address the telecom requirements of emerging markets in neighbouring Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.

''In view of the special characteristics of telecom and the WTO stipulations for elimination of duties on this segment, the telecom equipment manufacturing will need a special sectoral treatment rather than being governed by general policy framework,'' ASSOCHAM Secretary General D S Rawat said here while releasing a paper on 'Manufacturing of Telecom Equipment in India'.

The Paper says that the growth of the telecom manufacturing industry in India has not been consistent with the telecom subscriber growth and telecom services market potential.

Therefore, the objectives of the new strategy to support and encourage telecom equipment manufacturing should have a slew of measures that can sustain the domestic telecom subscribers demand, and establish a critical size of the Indian telecom hardware manufacturing sector, besides aiming to make Indian telecom manufacturing globally competitive, Mr Rawat added.

Positioning India in the global value added chain with a global marketing brand and image-building will need a focused approach to develop a sound value added product so that equipment manufacturing in the sector establishes a lead and become a role model for others, the Chamber said.

ASSOCHAM has also urged the government to set up a National Large Contract Manufacturing Organisation which will target an annual turnover of 2-4 billion dollars and act as a base for multinational companies operating in India to source their equipment needs.

The Chamber is of the view that major telecom hardware suppliers like Ericsson, Siemens, Alcatel and Cisco could use such an organisation to source their equipment demands.

Such an initiative in India would help built a national asset in the telecom manufacturing area.

Alternatively, based on a public-private partnership model, a national large-contract manufacturing facility could be set up to act as a common global quality resource of manufacturing to support multi-dimensional technologies like telecom, IT and broadcasting, the Chamber feels.

It has also urged the government to give an impetus to telecom equipment manufacturing in India in view of the special characteristics of telecom. In addition, the Chamber has also suggested that a Duty Entitlement Pass Book system should be recognised as export earning, as it is a fiscal benefit to motivate trans-national companies to set up base in India.

ASSOCHAM is also of the view that the duty structure, both on imports and on domestic levies on telecom equipment manufacturing, should be rationalised so that there is no conflict of interest and the duty regime can be user-friendly.

UNI MP RA BD1622

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