Tech groups ask India to revisit market access rules

April 9th, 2012 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Washington, April 9 (IANS) A number of global technology and business groups want India to reconsider its new rules on government-purchased technology, suggesting they would be at odds with New Delhi’s World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations.

They would also have spillover effects on India’s broader economy, 35 associations led by Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and US-India Business Council (USIBC) stated in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Urging the Indian government to reconsider its new preferential market access (PMA) rules, the groups suggested they would tip the scales strongly in favour of domestically manufactured electronic goods for government purchase, a USIBC release said.

The potential application of these rules to private entities, including “telecom licensee” and “managed service provider,” would contravene the WTO, the letter suggested, according to the trade group comprised of about 400 top American and Indian companies.

The letter also urged India to initiate a consultation process with the private sector and other stakeholders to develop policy approaches that will promote ICT sector growth without creating market-distorting policies.

“India has exemplified the benefits of competition and regulatory reform as demonstrated by the tremendous growth in the telecommunications and IT services sector over the past fifteen years,” the groups wrote.

“We urge India to remain, and push forward, on this path. India’s economic growth and ability to continue to be competitive in the global ICT sector depend on it,” it stated.

Joining, ITI, TIA and USIBC were 32 other associations from the United States, Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, and Korea.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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