Fri, Feb 24, 2017 | updated 01:53 PM IST

FDI in telecom sector registers six to seven fold increase; to cross USD 10 bn: Telecom Secretary

Updated: Nov 30, 2016 17:03 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 30 (ANI): The foreign direct investment ( FDI) attracted by the telecom sector in India has jumped to more than USD 10 billion in first eight months of 2016-17 registering a six to seven fold increase as against USD 1.3 bn in 2014-15 and USD 2.9 bn in 2015-16, Telecom Secretary, JS Deepak said at an ASSOCHAM event.

"The telecom sector reforms heralded by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) have got a resounding acknowledgement and we hope that this will not only represents a word of confidence on what is being done in the area of policy regulations and reforms but also the commitment and a roadmap of further expansion of the work in telecom sector," said Deepak while addressing an 'ASSOCHAM National Summit on e-Governance and Digital India.'

He said that considering about 97 percent of population is covered by the 2G telecom network provided mostly by private telecom operators, there is a need to both popularize and simplify USSD (unstructured supplementary service data).

"We need to work on a push USSD rather than a pull USSD, merchants should be able to push in a message to feature phone users where-in you just have to ok it for a transaction and it goes back and completes the transaction," said Deepak.

"The burden of pressing keys and filling IFSC (Indian Financial System Code), MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) codes should move from the payer to the recipient and certain ceilings need to be removed to make it even more ubiquitous and universal," he added.

"The announcement of demonetisation of November 8 has tremendous impact as far the war against black money and enhancing the tax net is concerned but it also has a very solitary impact of triggering the movement to digital payment system," further said Deepak.

He also emphasized upon how the Digital India vision is helping in making government to citizen services presence-less, paperless and cashless.

"The availability of Aadhaar number, setting up of portals in number of languages in various departments, connectivity going down deep as well as availability of India Stack all of these have been brought together with the mission of making all government to citizen services fully automated online by early 2018 and this is very serious work in progress," he said.

In his address at the ASSOCHAM summit, RS Sharma, chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) informed that his organization is working along with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to simplify USSD transactions for 70 percent feature phone users across India.

"We have recently done some work on the USSD payment gateways, TRAI has reduced the charges to one-third from Rs 1.50 to Rs 50 paisa and the number of steps in the transactions have also been increased from five to eight," said Sharma.

"We have also requested the NPCI which is actually the payment gateway, in some sense the aggregator, we have requested them to create a taskforce, which they have done so, to simplify the USSD transactions to make it as friendly as UPI (unified payments interface) transactions or other kinds of payment transactions," he said.

"When that happens 70 per cent of people who have still got feature phones,

they will have a very friendly system to transfer money and do the banking from their feature phone and if they develop a trust in that, lot of acceleration can take place," added Sharma.

"So we need to focus on that, it is a very critical infrastructure and we propose to work with NPCI and all the stakeholders to ensure that this happens fast," he said further.

The TRAI chairman also said that demonetisation move of the government will certainly be a catalyst for Digital India.

"In the last two weeks or so, there has been acceleration in digital transactions, cashless society or in the short run the less cash society is actually one of the aims and objectives of Digital India, this I think is accelerating already," said Sharma.

In his address at the ASSOCHAM event, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology (IT), P.P. Chaudhary said, "We need five to seven crore merchant devices to make India a cashless society and bring about change in the entire country."

He also suggested for the need to decentralize cyber security initiatives in India. "We need to invest time and money in promoting digital skill and awareness."

While Y.S. Chowdary, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences in his address at the ASSOCHAM event said, "The success of digital India can only be seen when the divide is reduced."

He also said that the growth accompanied by digitization must be inclusive.

"Digitization should not widen the gap and create a rift in the society but it must be inclusive and must be used to bridge the existing gaps in all walks of our regular life."

Jay Chen, CEO, Huawei India in his address said, "The key national initiatives like Digital India, Make in India, Smart Cities, Skill India have given an impetus to the Indian economy and has brought lot of confidence to both domestic and foreign investors."

He said that India must step up the pedal in terms of 'real investment,' in the digital infrastructure and build and more digital foundations.

"India must lay strong emphasis on laying of fibre across the length and breadth of the country and connect as many citizens as possible to the digital broadband highway," said Chen.

"The recent policy on Right Of Way (ROW) is a huge positive step towards that direction and it should give necessary confidence to the industry to invest in this critical piece of digital infrastructure," he added. (ANI)

New Delhi [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Businesses in Mexico, China and India are increasingly turning to technology to power successful growth, reveals new global research by Epicor Software Corporation, a global provider of industry-specific enterprise software to promote business growth.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 24 (ANI-NewsVoir): MAX the country's largest International fashion brand, recently launched the third edition of MAX Design Awards. After receiving tremendous response from across, over the last two years, MAX is geared up for its third edition to provide a platform for fashion designing students to unleash their creativity and connect with the world of fashion.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 24 (ANI): Despite an increase in the job market in the first half of 2017, finding the right talent will prove difficult for recruiters due to an on-going talent crunch. This sentiment has emerged from Naukri's Hiring Outlook survey 2017 a half yearly survey conducted to gauge the hiring sentiment across companies and industries.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Online fashion portal, Jabong, announced its exclusive partnership with the leading iconic headwear brand New Era, available for men, women and kids.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 24 (ANI-NewsVoir): Three members from the Internet of Things group at Next Tech Lab, SRM University won the Industrial IoT-AR/VR Make-a-thon organised by the IESA Vision Summit 2017.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Online holiday portal, Travkart.com, announced the hiring of financial advisory firm, Global CFO, which provides virtual CFO and fund-raising services to companies.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Following the successful solar implementation at Cochin International Airport, Ganges Internationale Private Limited (GIPL), a multifaceted technology company, bagged its second project to install 11MW module mounting structures, thus enabling Cochin airport to be the world's first 'Green Airport'.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): India-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) player, Djubo, launched an app facilitating property management system for hotels, titled Djubo Cloud PMS.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb.23 (ANI): The government, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India(RBI), has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2016-17-Series IV.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb.23 (ANI): The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has launched a mobile application for Goods and Services Tax (GST) to inform the taxpayers of the latest updates on GST among others.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 23 (ANI-NewsVoir): WittyFeed, world's second largest and India's largest viral content company has also emerged as 20th most visited websites in India surpassing the most major social networking sites Twitter and Instagram being the fastest and youngest company to attain this ranking. The latest Alexa ranking as on 22nd February shows as the 20th most visited website in India. This is an enormous achievement for the viral content website from tier II cities in India called Indore.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 23 (ANI): Mobile wallet major MobiKwik on Thursday announced an investment of Rs. 300 crore for expansion aimed at growing its user base from current 50 million to 150 million in 2017.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb.23 (ANI): White Page International recently released the research and jury based listing of India's Most Admired Brands and Leaders 2016-17 with PwC as Process Reviewers.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 23 (ANI-NewsVoir): Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and the Wadhwani Operating Foundation (WOF) announced a partnership aimed to empower Government of India's Pradhan Mantri Yuva Udyamita Vikas Abhiyaan on entrepreneurship.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 23 (ANI): Enforcement Directorate on Thursday attached an amount of Rs.1,02,16,000 in case of Kishore Bhajiawala involved in post demonetization frauds.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 23 (ANI): The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday announced that it has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs. one lakh (rupees one lakh only) on Sahebrao Deshmukh Co-operative Bank and Rs. four lakh (rupees four lakh only) on Progressive Co-operative Bank Ltd in Mumbai.

Full Story >>

Mumbai [India], Feb.23 (ANI-Businesswire India): The oil palm division of Ruchi Soya Industries Limited at Lunglei in Mizoram recently conducted digital banking awareness seminars to familiarise the farmers with transacting in a cashless economy.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 23 (ANI-BusinessWireIndia): L&T Technology Services Limited (NSE: LTTS), a leading global pure-play engineering R&D services company, and UTC Climate, Controls and Security and Otis, units of United Technologies Corp., today announced a strategic collaboration to create an innovation laboratory focused on integrated buildings, smart homes and cold chain technologies. The lab will be located at LTTS' Bengaluru campus, with support from the UTC business units.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 23 (ANI-BusinessWireIndia): Prudent Corporate, one of India's leading platform providers, has crossed Rs. 10,000 crore mark in its assets under management (AUM) on 31st Jan 2017. Prudent attribute this growth to its partners, clients and team Prudent and would like to thank them for being a part of this wonderful journey.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 23 (ANI): The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the first multilateral agreement in the WTO's 21-year history, ratified by two third members of WTO to become a reality.

Full Story >>