New Delhi: India’s telecom sector attracted foreign direct investments (FDI) worth over $4 billion in nearly two years since April 2014, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday.
Emphasising that the government has taken many proactive steps to promote growth in the sector, he said in Lok Sabha that “the quality of service issues has never been looked into so seriously and monitored, as is being done now”.
“FDI equity inflow in telecom sector from April 2014 to February 2016, has reached $4,091 million which is more than double that came in the corresponding period of previous two years ie. April 2012 to March 2014 ($1,611 million),” he said during Question Hour.
At the current exchange rate, $4.09 billion translates to more than Rs 26,000 crore.
The telecom minister said the total number of telephone and wireless connections have crossed the 1 billion mark in the current financial year.
“Today, with more than 1 million connections, India is the country second in number only after China,” he added.
Further, Prasad said the number of telephone connections in rural India has increased much more rapidly compared to urban India.
Referring to issues in the telecom sector, Prasad said, “Not everything is okay. A lot needs to be done.”
To queries on state-owned BSNL, the minister said its performance has improved with the telecom operator posting an operating profit.
Taking a dig at the previous government, he said that BSNL had a profit of Rs 10,000 crore in 2004. In 2014, the entity was in losses and in the last one-and-a-half years since this government came, the situation has improved, he added.