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Cabinet gives nod to new telecom policy, Rs 5,538-crore package for sugar sector

Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said things have very rapidly evolved in the telecom sector and hence new policy has been made to address emerging technology areas like 5G, Internet of Things and machine to machine communication.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: September 27, 2018 3:26:01 am
Ministry of Communications, New telecom policy, National Digital Communications Policy 2018, Manoj Sinha, sugarcane mills arrears, sugarcane prices, sugar industry debt, cabinet meeting Union Minister Manoj Sinha. Express photo by Ravi Kanojia.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the new telecom policy, now named as the ‘National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) 2018’ that aims to attract $100 billion investment and create 40 lakh jobs in the sector by 2022.

The policy also envisages 50 Mbps of broadband connectivity to every citizen in five years.

“Cabinet has approved National Digital Communications Policy today,” Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said on Wednesday.

He said things have very rapidly evolved in the telecom sector and hence new policy has been made to address emerging technology areas like 5G, Internet of Things and machine to machine communication.

The minister said the government wants to focus on socio-economic growth of the country with the help of the telecom sector instead of seeing it as source of revenue generation.

Meanwhile, the government on Wednesday also announced a Rs 5,538-crore package for the sugar industry, including over two-fold jump in production aid to cane growers and transport subsidy to mills for exports. This is the third incentive package for sugar mills in four months.

The package, approved by the Prime Minister-chaired Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, is to address the surplus production and stock of sugar in India. Measures since June this year have ranged from higher price for ethanol extracted from sugarcane to financial assistance to sugar mills to create ethanol capacity and are aimed at helping the cash-starved mills clear the Rs 13,000 crore they owe currently to farmers before the 2019 general elections. “Last and this year, sugar production is high. It is expected that sugar output next year will remain high. Therefore, a comprehensive policy has been approved by the CCEA to deal with the excess production,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the meeting.

Food Minister Ramvilas Paswan said Wednesday’s decisions will help stabilise the domestic market and enable mills to make cane payment to growers. The government will provide financial assistance of Rs 13.88 per quintal cane crushed in 2018-19 marketing year to offset the cost of cane, as against Rs 5.50 per quintal announced for the current 2017-18, ending this month. The total expenditure on this account would be about Rs 4,163 crore, an official statement said. —With PTI

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