Govt to release guidelines on import of telecom equipment soon

Govt to release guidelines on import of telecom equipment soon

"Soon we are going to finalise a methodology to ensure that import of telecom equipment is streamlined," Minister of State for Communication and IT Sachin Pilot said on the sidelines of a FICCI event.

The controversy over security concerns regarding Chinese vendors has been troubling the telecom sector over the last few months.

Though the government denies any blanket ban on import of telecom equipment and network gears from China, various companies like Huawei and ZTE have complained that the government has not approved their deals in the past few months.

In the wake of security concerns raised by the home ministry over import of telecom equipment, DoT had said it would come up with a comprehensive list of core equipment that would require mandatory security clearance before placing purchase orders by any operator.

Pilot said the concerns were not targetted towards a particular company or a country.
"We, as a nation, must make sure that the import of such equipment and technology is safe and secure, and does not cause any security concerns in the future. That is why various departments of the government are working together to make sure that we come out with a policy framework to ensure smooth imports of telecom equipment," he said.

"We are coming up with the guidelines that will make it easier to import equipment. I think we are close to finalising it," Pilot added.

At a meeting held early this month between the DoT and the home ministry, it was agreed that equipment imports will be allowed immediately on the basis of the undertaking given by the operators. It was also clarified that the agreement would be mandatory for core equipment only and the list of these equipment will be finalised immediately.

Asked about the IT Taskforce report, Pilot said, "The report was presented to the government 2-3 months back and very soon, we are going to take a decision on it. The report has been circulated in Cabinet whose result would be out. We are going to get it implemented."

Set up in August 1998 with various industry bodies such as Nasscom, India Semiconductor Association (ISA) and MAIT, the task force made key suggestions in areas like hardware, software as well as components design and manufacturing.

The report said the current electronics domestic demand is worth about USD 45 billion and is expected to grow to USD 125 billion by 2014 and USD 400 billion by 2020.

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