Budget 2022: India to hold 5G spectrum auctions this year, says finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Published on Feb 01, 2022 12:08 PM IST

It will facilitate a rollout of the next-generation telecoms service by private telecom providers within next year, that is, the financial year (FY) '23, she added.

Sitharaman also said that the scheme for design-led manufacturing will bring a strong ecosystem for 5G as part of the Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI). (REUTERS)
Sitharaman also said that the scheme for design-led manufacturing will bring a strong ecosystem for 5G as part of the Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI). (REUTERS)
Written by Joydeep Bose

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2022-23 in Parliament on Tuesday, announced that spectrum auctions will be carried out this year. It will facilitate a rollout of the next-generation telecoms service by private telecom providers within next year, that is, the financial year (FY) '23, she added.

Sitharaman also said that the scheme for design-led manufacturing will bring a strong ecosystem for 5G as part of the Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI). The central government will also be awarding contracts for laying optical fiber in all villages – including remote areas – under the BharatNet project in 2022 and 2023.

This will be carried out under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme, and its completion is expected by 2025.

As India, Asia's third-largest economy, emerges from a pandemic-induced slump, the Union finance minister also said on Tuesday that her budget for 2022-23 will lay the foundation for economic growth through public investment. The government has projected growth at 8 per cent to 8.5 per cent compared with an estimated 9.2 per cent for the current fiscal year and a 6.6 per cent contraction the previous year.

“The overall sharp rebound and recovery of the economy are reflective of our country's strong resilience,” Sitharaman said, as she began her budget speech in parliament that will lay out spending, tax collections, and the fiscal deficit.

Shares rose in the run-up to the federal budget on expectations of greater public spending.

Concerns, though, have risen about inflation and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs because of the disruptions caused by the pandemic. Sitharaman expressed empathy with those who had to bear adverse health and economic effects of Covid-19 that devastated India during the second wave last year.

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