The Draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022, will bring down the time for licencing to 28 days and usher in an online licencing system, Ashwini Vaishnav, minister for railways; communications and electronics and information technology says.

Speaking at the 9th Annual Forum of Public Affairs Forum of India (PAFI) in Delhi on September 22, the minister says the new Bill will be based on three pillars -- Wireless Planning Coordination (WPC) reforms, bringing down the time for licencing to 28 days and ushering in licencing reforms through an online process. This will now reduce the paperwork and Right of Way (RoW) approval permission, down to 6-7 days, he says.

According to the minister, the CAPEX for railways saw a steep jump with ₹1.93 lakh crore of investment that was initiated by the ministry last year, with an eye to improve the consumer experience and seamless integration with nationwide logistics.

“The next 25 years would be a period of inclusive growth focusing on every section of society, particularly marginal and deprived sections living at the bottom of the pyramid,” he says.

The minister says his optimism stemmed from the fact that the country is witnessing increased economic activity, with the Prime Minister firm on making India a developed country. According to him, the inclusive growth of the country will be driven by investment, manufacturing, simplification of laws, encouragement to start-ups, and reforming old laws.

Speaking on the occasion, Virat Bhatia, managing director of Apple India and president PAFI, talked about growth with scale, speed and sustainability and called for the collaborative effort of all stakeholders. Ajay Khanna, co-founder, and chairman, PAFI and group strategic advisor Jubilant Bhartia Group emphasised the need for collaborative dialogue between government, industry, civil society and other stakeholders, for India to become a high-income country.

PAFI is a cross-sector networking platform for public affairs professionals and provides opportunities to benefit from interactions with one other as well as with key policymakers and influencers.

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