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Indian telecom gets Rs 28,800 cr as FDI in 4 yrs

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CIOL Bureau
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NEW DELHI, INDIA: During the past four financial years, from 2006 March to 2009 September, India has received Rs 28,800 crore as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the telecommunication sector.

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In reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, Gurudas Kamat, Minister of State in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, said that in the current financial year, till September 30, the FDI stood at Rs 9,815.

The minister also said that the observations made by the special auditors, appointed by Department of Telecom (DoT) to audit the books of Reliance Communications to check the revenue leakage are under examination of the Department. DoT has forwarded this report to other Ministries/Departments and the government intends to complete its examination by the end of January 2010 and would take action as per findings of the examination thereafter.

With regards to the criteria for allotment of 2G Spectrum, Kamat said the criteria has always been on first-come-first-served mode, subject to availability. There is no change in the allotment of initial / start up spectrum.

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The initial spectrum is being allotted, subject to availability, to the Unified Access Service Licensees/CMTS Licensees as per the provisions of their Service License agreement. However, the Government has revised the subscriber based criteria for allotment of additional spectrum beyond initial / start up spectrum, he added.

The minister said, as on October 31, 2009, Village Public Phones (VPTs) has been provided to 5,62,152 villages. This comes to around 95 per cent of a total of 5,93,601 inhabited villages as per Census 2001. The remaining inhabited villages will be covered with VPTs through subsidy support from Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) in a phased manner by February, 2011.

As per the first trigger of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and Ministry of Defence May 22, 2009, the MoD has released 10 MHz of spectrum, said Kamat.

The condition for release of this spectrum was met in May 2009 when MoU was signed by MOC & IT with MoD, he added.

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