Mobile phone production in the country has more than doubled to 11 crore in 2015-16 on the back of duty rationalisation announced in the previous Budget, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.
The minister said 16 new mobile manufacturing units have been set up during the financial year. "In 2014-15, the mobile units manufactured in the country was 5.4 crore, which has more than doubled to 11 crore in 2015-16.
After the duty rationalisation in the last budget, 16 new mobile manufacturing units have been set up in this financial year," Prasad said here during an media interaction.
While applauding the reforms announced in the Budget for 2016-17, Prasad said due to the initiatives taken up in the last budget, especially duty rationalisation, there is a remarkable acceleration in field of electronics manufacturing.
"Electronics manufacturing proposals worth Rs 1,20,294 crore were received till date, up from Rs 11,800 crore in June 2014, when the government came to power," he said. Asked about what amount of proposals have been approved, the Minister said Rs 18,000 crore worth of proposals have been approved.
The minister said the proposal of duty advantage of 8.5 per cent to domestic manufacturers of routers, broadband modems and set top boxes, digital video recorder and CCTV cameras among other products announced in the Union Budget, will give a boost to the telecom sector, which uses many of these products.
Domestic value addition in mobile phones, battery, wired headsets, speakers would enjoy a duty advantage of 10.5 per cent compared to imported goods, he added. "Were happy to note that FM has announced moving a legislation to give statuary backing to Aadhaar, for delivery of services, subsidies, benefits coming out of Consolidated Fund of India," he said.
On IT and IT enabled services, the minister said that Indias share in the global IT outsourcing has increased to 56 per cent, while the services export has crossed USD 100 billion in the last 20 months.
The Minister said foreign direct investment (FDI) equity inflow in telecom sector has touched a new high in FY 2014-15 at USD 2895 million, which is 80 per cent more than the FDI equity inflow in 2012-13 at USD 304 million.
Regarding Postal Department, the Minister said 1000 ATMs will be installed by March 2016, of which 576 ATMs have already been installed. "India Post has overtaken the State Bank of India to become the largest core banking network with 18,231 branches," he added.
Regarding the BharatNet project, Prasad said at the end of February, optic fibre cable (OFC) pipe has been laid in 51,616 gram panchayats while fibre has been laid in 41,086 gram panchayats.