India’s telecom sector has attracted a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth $6.2 billion (Rs 43,400 crore) in 2017-18 fiscal, telecom minister Manoj Sinha Tuesday said.
“FDI in the telecom sector has jumped nearly five times in the last 3 years – from $1.3 billion in 2015-16 to $6.2 billion in 2017-18,” Sinha said, according to a press statement.
The government has already increased FDI in the telecom space to 100% and the sector is witnessing steadily growth since then.
The provisional statistics released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) early this month has, however, indicated India’s communications services segment received $8.8 billion (around Rs 63,000 crore) worth of investment in FY 2018.
Buoyant Sinha said that the country needs massive investment in developing newer technologies which could be accessible and affordable to the people and at the same time creates productive employment.
The government, according to him, is aiming the commercial rollout of fifth-generation or 5G services by the end of 2020. The newer technology is also expected to bring in potential investment in the country with an array of multinational expressing interest in the enterprise applications and utility services.
The Narendra Modi-led NDA government is aiming to attract $100 billion worth investment in the country.
It is pertinent to mention that the draft National Digital Communications Policy, 2018 aims to attract investment of $100 billion or about Rs.6.5 lakh crore in the digital communications sector, Sinha said.
“Telecom sector will play an important role in creating those employment opportunities,” he said, adding that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has taken steps to promote the ease of doing business.
Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said that the telecom sector has always been one of the core sectors attracting highest FDI inflows and this overall this trend has been positive for the past two decades.
In 2017, due to heightened industry-wide financial stress, the government had formed an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) and has accepted a majority of its recommendations to facilitate Rs 7 lakh crore debt-ridden sector.