[India] Telecom sector poised for a leap

  • To: s-asia-it at apnic dot net
  • Subject: [India] Telecom sector poised for a leap
  • From: "Irfan Khan" <KhanIA@super.net.pk>
  • Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2000 12:29:49 +0500
  • Sender: owner-s-asia-it@lists.apnic.net
    • Dec 20 2000 
      Telecom sector poised for a leap
      NEW DELHI 
      IT was late but the government was finally caught in a frenzy during 
      the year 2000 to reform the giant telecom sector in anticipation of 
      its becoming the country's growth engine for the new millennium for 
      which it took a slew of measures to open the area of hitherto state 
      Opening up of the long distance telephony, lifting of any 
      restrictions on number of players in different telephony disciplines, 
      advancing of date for ending monopoly of overseas communication and 
      transforming gigantic telecom services department into a corporation 
      were among the highpoints of the government's single-minded reform 
      But the year gone by was marked by tremendous opposition to 
      government moves from political parties, trade unions and government 
      employees as also the early private entrants in the sector who saw 
      the changes as signs of gloom. 
      Consequently, the sector witnessed a nearly year-long situation of 
      industrial unrest and frequent strikes by one or the other PSUs or 
      government departments in the sector. 
      Notwithstanding the pressures, the government corporatised the department of telecom services into Bharat Sanchar Nigam and opened bandwidth for overseas communication to private sector to send right signals the world ove
      r that Iindia was the destination for the future. 
      The government also made conscious efforts to project India's investment potential in the fastest growing sector the world over in tandem with conducive legislative and fiscal climate with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpa
      yee himself leading a virtual roadshow to America in the last quarter of the year. 
      To demonstrate the country's commitment to the new information order and sincerity of reforms process, the government also broadly finalised a draft for the legislative structure wherein different modes of communication w
      ould be integrated for better effects and usefulness. 
      However, the last minute glitches forced the government to abandon its plans to introduce a bill in the winter session of Parliament on convergence whereby it wanted to put in place a strong regulatory mechanism for guidi
      ng the innumerable players for a fair play. 
      As is the adage that 'the fittest will survive in the free market,' the government spurred the process of transforming its own enterprises to prepare for challenge from domestic and global players who are high on technolo
      gy and deep in pockets. 
      Overcoming the dissent from within the ruling alliance and resistance 
      from opposition parties, the government made it clear that the 
      telecom sector in India could not be developed by protectionist 
      trends and hence it would provide the necessary legislative and 
      policy support for opening up of the sector. - PTI