Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the telecommunications sector in general and 5G, in particular, can enable growth and offer job opportunities.

Representational image of 5gImage for representation
Money Budget 2022 Tuesday, February 01, 2022 - 13:12

The Indian government will conduct a spectrum auction before the end this year, which will facilitate the roll-out of 5G services by private telecom operators, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday, February 1. “Spectrum auctions will be conducted in 2022 to facilitate the roll-out of 5G mobile services within 2022-23 by private telecom providers,” Sitharaman said. She said the telecommunications sector in general and 5G, in particular, can enable growth and offer job opportunities.

"A scheme for design-led manufacturing will be launched to build a strong ecosystem for 5G as part of the production-linked incentive scheme," the FM said. She said that to enable affordable broadband and mobile service proliferation in rural and remote areas, 5% of annual collections under the universal service obligation fund will be allocated.

Read: India to get 5G in 2022: All you need to know

"This will promote research and development and commercialisation of technologies and solutions. Our mission is that all villages and their residents should have the same access to e-services, communication facilities and digital resources as urban areas and their residents," the Finance Minister said.

She added that the contract for laying optical fibre in all villages, including remote areas, will be awarded through the BharatNet project through public-private partnerships (PPP) in 2022-23. "Completion is expected in 2025. Measures will be taken to enable better and more efficient use of the optical fibre," FM said.

Read: Budget 2022: Govt pushes for urban planning, clean public transport

In December last year, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) announced that 5G trial sites have been established in several cities by Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Jio. In a release, the government also said that the indigenous 5G Test Bed project, funded by the DoT, had reached final stages and was likely to be completed by December 31, 2021.

In another development, a ‘Digital Rupee’ is proposed to be introduced by the RBI using blockchain technology starting from 2022-23. In her Union Budget 2022-23 speech, the Finance Minister also said Rs 1 lakh crore financial assistance to states will be provided in 2022-23 to catalyse investments.

With PTI inputs

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