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PM tip for telecom

Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Thursday. Picture by Ramakant Kushwaha

New Delhi, Dec. 5: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today stressed the need to develop a strong manufacturing base for electronics and telecommunication to reduce the dependence on imports, which are likely to cross $300 billion by 2020 — higher than the value of petroleum product imports.

“We need to act now to avoid a situation where we face difficulties in financing these imports. India should have manufacturing facilities, which result in a balanced trade in electronics products and are part of a global supply chain,” Singh said after inaugurating India Telecom 2013, organised by Ficci and the department of telecom (DoT), here today.

He said National Telecom Policy 2012 had brought clarity on many issues. “I understand that the DoT has already started issuing unified licences and will also shortly issue the merger and acquisition guidelines,” he said.

Earlier this week, the empowered group of ministers firmed up their views on merger rules, which will be placed before the cabinet for its approval.

On the use of telecom technologies to modernise systems, Singh touched upon the telecom ministry’s plan to provide 3G connectivity with computers to students.

“Combining a computer with 3G connectivity can revolutionise the delivery of education. Students can learn the subject of their choice from quality teachers without leaving the place of their residence. I am told that the Telecom Commission is working on such possibilities and I wish them all success in this noble endeavour,” he said.

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