Union Minister of Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad today said that India is the second largest telecommunications market and is on the cusp of transformational change which will require additional FDI in the sector.Addressing a seminar on INVEST DIGICOMM 2019 here, he said that the recent decision on reduction of the corporate tax has made India a more attractive destination for FDI and it should aim for the largest FDI share in the world. He said, given the recent announcements on tax relief for manufacturing, India has the same tax regime as Vietnam and Thailand. He said, the country offers a huge market for companies like Apple and others to make for India and also export and added that Apple has started production in India in a very effective way.The Minister said FDI has seen a jump over the last few years and grossed USD 64 billion in FY19. Telecom sector attracted FDI worth USD 2.67 billion, and in electronics, computer software and hardware of USD 6.4 billion.Referring to the Prime Minister’s vision of Digital India, the Minister said emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning andIoTwill play a crucial role in the Indian ICT sector and will contribute over 1 trillion-dollar to the overall planned target of 5 trillion—dollar economy by 2024. Shri Prasad said that it is the most opportune time for the investors across the world to be part of the growth story of Indian Telecom and Government of India will be happy to welcome and facilitate FDI in this sector.
Speaking at the inaugural session, Anshu Prakash, Chairman, Digital Communication Commission (DCC) and Secretary, Department of Telecommunicationsemphasized the need for continuous and sustained investments in the sector.The Thematic address of the event was given by Shri P. K. Sinha, Member Finance, DCC, Department of Telecommunications and ex-officio Secretary to GOI who threw light on the background of FDI in Indian telecom sector. He assured all present that more such interactions with relevant stakeholders will be organized in the near future.The seminar was organized by National Institute of Communication Finance (NICF), Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications in association with Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), for drawing sustained FDI in the telecom sector of India. At the Inaugural session, publication titled “Propelling Digital Communications in India: The Role of Foreign Direct Investment” prepared by National Institute of Communication Finance, DOT along with National Institute of Public Finance & Policy and NICF Journal ‘Sanchar Digest’ were released by the Hon’ble Minister.Shri S.K. Gupta Member (Technology), DCC, DOT gave the special address at the event and Shri DilipPadhey, Advisor (Finance), DOT delivered the welcome address.The one-day conference featured a high-level discussion on NDCP 2018: Converting Challenges into Opportunities, Foreign Investment: The Law in Practice, Convergence: Regulatory responses for the Digital Economy, and Industry 4.0: The role of digital communications. The event was well attended by business leaders, technocrats, lawyers, economist, eminent academicians and senior government representatives where they shared their vision and the necessity to bring more FDI and investment in the digital communications sector.