TRAI Recommendations on Promotion of NATEM

Broadband India Forum (BIF) lauds TRAI's NATEM Recommendations, highlighting India's shift from import reliance to a global telecom manufacturing hub.

Commenting on the TRAI Recommendations, Shri T.V. Ramachandran, President of the Broadband India Forum, said, “TRAI must be lauded for the measures that they have recommended to make India a Global Manufacturing Hub with a focus on exports besides local manufacturing of Networking & Telecom equipment. The detailed recommendations include, among others, a review of the PMA-PMI Policy Guidelines, including the Value Addition norms, so that they are aligned with market realities. Additional Financial/Fiscal Incentives beyond the existing PLI Scheme and policy guidelines are proposed, along with procedural simplification to position India as a Global R&D and Repair hub." He also added, "Some of these provisions could be made applicable to the Satcom industry, as appropriate."

A few of the other salient features of these Recommendations include:

  1. Inclusion of VSAT Terminals and IoT devices under NATEM Policies and Benefits.
  2. Recommendation of a new NATEDF fund to promote Networking & Telecom Equipment Manufacturing beyond PLI. This fund would be on the lines of the MeitY-led EDF, supporting Project and contract Financing for domestic manufacturing.
  3. Recommendation of a new TEDB (Telecom Equipment Development Board) under DoT for faster and coordinated decisions relating to funding of incentives for design, development, and manufacturing of telecommunication equipment in the country. It should be responsible for facilitating innovation, R&D, testing certification, and manufacturing in the telecom sector.
  4. Recommendation of a Financial Scheme on the lines of the Scheme for the Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS). A new scheme should be introduced to partially fund the Capital expenses of manufacturing facilities with respect to domestic manufacturing of NATEM and related components.
  5. Financial Support for Capex for NATEM manufacturing for the first 5 years – up to a value of 25% of installed capacity.
  6. Tax Relief for IPR-driven companies.
  7. Funding for promoting the Startup Ecosystem.
  8. Financial Support for Standardization work for Startups and MSMEs up to 100 Crores for participation in standards work by international SSOs.
  9. Creation of awareness & promotion of Skill Development jointly by DoT, TCOEs, along AICTE at the Graduation level.
  10. Lowered Investment thresholds (Rs. 10 Cr) for Medium enterprises for telecom.
  11. Ap-GR reduction for LSP on a net annual basis for using NATE.
  12. Creation of an online portal for receiving, handling, and disposing of complaints.
  13. Incentive structure for Telecom Product Development Clusters (TPDCs).
  14. Special Benefit for exporters of indigenous equipment.

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