The Cabinet on Thursday approved the National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2012 that proposes to abolish roaming charges on mobile phones and allow users to retain the same number across the country.
The Cabinet approved NTP 2012, a senior minister told reporters after the meeting of the Cabinet.
The NTP 2012 aims to provide free roaming to telecom users and allow them to retain the mobile number even outside their circles without having to pay any extra charge.
At present, users have to pay extra when they receive or make a call in a circle outside their home network, called roaming charges.
Also mobile number portability is not permitted outside the home circle.
Declaring an agenda of “One Nation-One Licence” across services, the NTP endeavours to create an investor-friendly environment by attracting additional investments in the sector, which has been marred by controversies relating to second generation (2G) scam in the recent past.
Last year, while unveiling the draft NTP, telecom minister Kapil Sibal had said, “Moving forward, we aim to create One Nation-One Licence across services and service areas. We aim to achieve One Nation-Full Mobile Number Portability and work towards One Nation-Free Roaming.”
Highlighting the vision “Broadband on Demand”, the NTP also envisages leveraging telecom infrastructure to enable all citizens and businesses, both in rural and urban area to participate in the internet and web economy thereby ensuring equitable and inclusive development across the nation.
According to section on ‘financing’ in the NTP, it has been proposed to create a special purpose ‘Telecom Finance Corporation’ as a vehicle to mobilise and channelize financing for telecom projects in order to facilitate investment in the sector.
It proposes to include telecom sector projects within the ambit of financing from existing entities such as India Infrastructure Finance Corporation (IIFCL) and also to rationalise taxes and levies affecting the sector to stimulate investment and making services more affordable.