BIF Proposes Key Initiatives for Union Budget 2024-25 to Boost Digital Infrastructure

The Broadband India Forum (BIF), a Policy & Regulatory Think-Tank, has put forward several proposals for the Union Budget 2024-25, focusing on enhancing India’s digital public infrastructure. With the Union Budget on the horizon, BIF’s recommendations aim to support the growth of digital transformation and strengthen investor confidence in the digital sector.

Key Highlights:

  • BIF urges for budgetary support to expand Fixed Broadband, including reduced statutory fees, levies, and GST exemption on service revenues from FTTX+W-Fi deployments.
  • Advocacy for incentives to boost indigenous production of mobile handset components.
  • Proposal for financial support for research in cutting-edge technologies like O-RAN/V-RAN, Quantum Communications, and Next-Generation Communication Technologies.
  • Emphasis on the expansion of PM-WANI based Public Wi-Fi hotspots, requesting duty and levy waivers.
  • Expectation of alignment with recent India-US collaboration in technology sectors.

BIF Proposes Key Initiatives for Union Budget 2024-25 to Boost Digital Infrastructure

BIF emphasizes the need for Wi-Fi in broadband delivery, regardless of the backhaul medium, and is advocating for reduced statutory fees, levies, and GST exemption on service revenues from FTTX+W-Fi deployments. This approach is intended to stimulate rapid growth in Fixed Broadband, contributing significantly to the advancement of India’s digital infrastructure.

Mr. TV Ramachandran, President of BIF, commented on the proposals: “Our proposals aim to ignite rapid growth in Fixed Broadband and contribute to India’s digital infrastructure. We advocate for the expansion of PM-WANI based Public Wi-Fi hotspots and urge duty and levy waivers. We also propose incentives for local mobile handset components and support for the Satcom industry. These measures, if incorporated, will align with Government priorities and the recent India-US collaborations in advanced technologies.”

In addition to the emphasis on Fixed Broadband, BIF’s proposal includes support for the expansion of PM-WANI based Public Wi-Fi hotspots, analogous to the UPI of Telecom. The forum also advocates for incentives to foster the development of indigenous components in mobile handsets, which would enhance the production of finished handsets in India.

Further, BIF appeals for budgetary support to promote research and innovation in advanced technologies such as O-RAN/V-RAN, Quantum Communications, and Next-Generation Communication Technologies. This initiative aligns with recent collaborative efforts between India and the US in the technology sector.

In conclusion, BIF remains hopeful that the Union Budget 2024-25 will incorporate these critical measures, aligning with the government’s vision for a digitally empowered India. The forum believes these initiatives will play a significant role in the growth of the digital infrastructure sector.

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Swayam Malhotra

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