Ministers Najma Heptullah and Maneka Gandhi were seen busy with their smart phones in the afternoon, even as MPs raised concerns about the commercialisation of healthcare.
“Government has decided to conduct special audit for three subsequent financial years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11. The process is under way,” Prasad said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
In the past, Prasad has said that the country’s import bill on electronics was second only to that of oil, adding that the Centre would work to increase domestic manufacturing of electronic goods to reduce import dependence.
A senior government official said that all the three Chinese firms informed Prasad of their intent to invest in India, particularly in areas of research and development, and manufacturing.
Prasad also said while on one hand the Delhi government “expects cooperation” from the Centre, “their ministers use such a condemnable, shameful language” against the Prime Minister.
The government had revamped its scheme for CSCs by rebranding it as CSC 2.0.
The minister said that the core banking linkage of post offices was bigger than that of State Bank of India, which has 16,333 CBS-enabled branches.
This government has promoted and democratised the Internet like no other in the past
The new governance model is being worked out through a global consultation process and efforts are underway to end direct US government oversight control of administering the Internet.
Speaking to Indian Express, Prasad said that India has emerged a powerful voice in internet governance and that incrementally, governments across the world are realising the threat of terrorism and are open to government’s role on security front.
Asked whether the matter came up for discussion during the Cabinet, Prasad said, “No it was not discussed”.
India has the largest postal network in the world with over 154,882 post offices, of which 1,39,182 — nearly 90 per cent — are in the rural areas.
In August 2015, the Reserve Bank of India had granted in-principle approval to 11 applicants to set up payments banks, including India Post.
Prasad is now focussed on turning around two state-owned enterprises — telecom utility Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and India Post.
The department of telecommunications (DoT) has so far served around Rs 8,000 crore in penalty notices to telcos. Most of these resulted in litigation, which includes 3G intra-circle roaming issue among others.