Indians prefer mobile to bicycle for connectivity: minister

March 8th, 2008 - 12:45 am ICT by admin  

Mumbai, March 7 (IANS) Lauding the growth of telecom sector in the country, Minister of State for Industries Ashwani Kumar has said Indians are now using mobile phones rather than bicycles for connectivity. Speaking at the two-day conference on Communications Convergence organised by the Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC) here Friday, Kumar said: “Eighty million phones are purchased every year in India compared to 15 million bicycles, which indicates that Indians now have adopted mobile as the easiest and faster way to achieve connectivity.”

As per estimates, by the year 2011, 58 percent of the rural population will be connected by mobiles while 95 percent of the urban population will be using mobiles, he said.

He added that the telecom revolution “has raised 200 million Indians above the poverty line”.

“Due to the IT revolution, around 15-20 million poor rise to join the ranks of the Indian middle classes every year. This is roughly equal to the total population of Australia,” he said.

However, he said there was a tremendous deficit in India’s capabilities for manufacturing IT and communication hardware.

“If present growth trends of the manufacturing industry continues, country’s import bill for electronic products will exceed its oil import bill by 2050,” Kumar added.

Others who spoke at the special session were Finolex Cables managing director Deepak Chhabria, ex-deputy chairman of TCS, F.C. Kohli and Mastek Ltd’s chairman Ashank Desai.

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