Here is what the leaders from the telecom sector have to say on 25 years of mobile telephony in India and the role played by the sector in driving India’s growth.

TEMA welcomes Government ban on additional 47 Chinese apps

TEMA has welcomed the Government of India ban on 47 Chinese apps, in addition to the 59 apps already banned, and supports the compulsory registration of bidders under GFR from Border Countries for all procurements by Govt./GEM/PSUs vide MOF DOE Order dated the 23rd July 2020.

TEMA appreciates the various initiatives of the Government for ensuring that domestic firms become competitive on both price and quality. The Government’s action of stopping the automatic FDI route for Chinese and other companies from Border Countries is helping in upholding India’s economic sovereignty. Separately, the mandatory testing has also been legalized for telecom products by Amendment to Telegraph Rules.

Further, The Department of Expenditure (DoE) invoked powers under Article 257(1) for the first time and asked the State Governments to comply. This ensured that all tenders announced but not opened, where technical bids are evaluated or yet to be evaluated, but not finalized would be subject to these orders. Also, an explicit model text of clauses has been introduced for all new tenders.

This would necessitate the existing Chinese manufacturers to seek compulsory registration if they want to sell products on GEM. This order will apply to all mobile handset manufacturers like OPPO, Viva, Xiaomi etc. who are assembling/manufacturing/operating in India under 100% FDI route.

Ravi Sharma, Chairman, TEMA, said: “Banning of Chinese apps is a welcome step. We now request the Government to make PPP MII – Public Procurement Preference to Make In India – applicable to the private sector, also including all telecom operators. The responsibility of encouraging Make in India lies with the private sector too. The country-wide PPP MII will create strong foundation for “Make In India” brand to fulfil the mission of our Hon’ble Prime Minister in achieving Aatmnirbhar Bharat in Telecom manufacturing.”

Sandeep Aggarwal, Vice Chairman, TEMA, said: “We are glad that the Government is moving fast to secure our international border and data privacy. It is high time that Government also announce ban of remaining Chinese apps.”

TEMA demands that PPP MII orders should also be made applicable to all private sector purchases including telecom operators. This initiative coupled with a strong innovation ecosystem will definitely make India self-reliant in telecom manufacturing.

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