India chucks money at its domestic telecoms sector

Money bag with indian rupee symbol

The Indian government has approved a new cunning plan to boost its domestic telecoms equipment industry.

So reports Reuters, which attended a news conference held by India’s telecoms minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. “I would appeal to all telecoms’ equipment manufacturers, come on India is waiting for you with this scheme, we’ll give you all the help,” said Prasad.

All the help consists of a 121.95 billion rupee ($1.68 billion) fund that will be used to reward anyone who can demonstrate an increase in their local-made kit. This doesn’t seem to be restricted to Indian companies, just those that make stuff there, so this as much about helping Indian manufacturing as anything.

There does seem to be a security element to it too, however. As well as trying to make India a more significant global manufacturing player, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also wants to make it less reliant on imports, especially from China. It’s no secret the world’s two most populous countries have little time for each other, so it seems sensible for India to not put itself at the mercy of China for any of the stuff it needs.

Prasad has been hassling Indian telcos to buy local, to which they presumably replied that it’s not up to scratch, so this seems to be an attempt by the Indian government to put its money where its mouth is. Another scheme to encourage smartphone vendors to move their manufacturing from China to India seems to be going well, so this looks set to be yet another front in China’s trade war with the rest of the world.

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