• December 9th, 2011
  • Dafiq Hussein

The Indian Prime Minister has been addressing the concerns that have been raised in the Indian telecoms sector over government policies this past week.

PM Manmohan Singh has told a telecoms summit in Delhi that the government is committed to growing the sector that he claimed was “vitally important” to India on the whole. At the end of the day it is the second largest telecoms industry in the world behind China.

The Indian telecoms sector is also extremely competitive and the alleged mis-selling of licences has, according to auditors, cost the country a whopping $40 billion. That’s quite enough to make any cheap calls to India look like an absolute bargain!

While addressing industry executives at the Indian Telecom Summit, Mr Singh commented: “I am aware of some concerns of the telecom industry regarding government policies in the telecom sector. I wish to reassure the industry of the government’s full commitment to sustaining growth, creativity and enterprise in this vitally important sector of our economy.” Mr Singh has also met with top executives in order to discuss the concerns.

The Indian telecoms market is, reportedly, concerned about the future direction of regulation and what could be a large increase in the prices of second-generation spectrum in the wake of the scandal concerning licences.

The Indian telecoms market was opened in the 1990s and quickly became very competitive indeed. There were around 15 key companies which all put aggressive marketing strategies in place nationwide.

Furthermore, Mr Singh has also praised the sector, stating that it is “one of India’s success stories”, despite the concerns and the corruption scandal.

The corruption scandal has led to fourteen people going on trial for the alleged mis-selling of licences. One of those on trial includes the ex-telecoms minister A Raja. He, along with all the others on trial, rather unsurprisingly, deny any wrongdoing.

The trial is also expected to be a rather long and drawn out process with some 150 witnesses said to be expecting to appear. If the defendants are found guilty they could be facing the maximum life sentence in prison…some murderers do not even get that sort of sentence in the UK. Maybe the UK needs to rethink its judicial system…