Manmohan calls for improving rural tele-density

December 12th, 2007 - 7:43 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Dec.12 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, inaugurated a four-day long ‘India Telecom 2007′ conference in the national capital on Wednesday, and called for improving tele-density at the rural level.
“The growth rate of the Indian economy is at a historic peak. It has averaged close to nine percent year after year and we are now targeting a growth rate of 10% in the 11th five-year plan. Given our youthful population and a rising savings rate, I am confident that we will be able to sustain this growth in the medium term. The major constraints I foresee are the availability of skilled manpower and of high quality infrastructure,” said Dr. Singh
He added that the infrastructure needs of India are in excess of 450 billion US dollars in the next five years and the country needs to work towards facilitating investment on a large scale.
Addressing the issue of access and the large rural-urban divide in connectivity, the Prime Minister said, “Although the growth in the last few years has been truly impressive and our tariffs are among the lowest in the world, vast stretches of our rural population have little or no telecom penetration. Rural tele-density is still in single digits. I had heard of plans for a Phone in Every Village some twenty years ago. We have not yet reached that goal. This is why we have emphasised telecom connectivity in our Bharat Nirman programme.”
He also expressed concern about capabilities in telecom research and development (R and D) and manufacturing. India can have a sector where they are world-class in telecom networks but do not have an adequate manufacturing presence.
The exhibition-cum-conference aims at discussing new growth areas in the telecom sector and assessing challenges and opportunities associated with new technologies and growth frontiers.
It would act as a common platform for visionaries, manufacturers, experts and investors for discussions and deliberations with high-level policy makers.
The conference would further focus on showcasing India’s large potential in the sector and invite investments for high quality infrastructure in the country.
The India Telecom series of exhibition will be held every year to provide fresh fillip to the growth of telecom sector. (ANI)

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