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Industry pledges $75 bn on Digital India launch: Prasad

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Investment commitment of USD 75 billion or Rs 4,72,500 crore was received from industry at the launch of Digital India week, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here today.

"On Digital India day (July 1), you will be happy to know that we made a very decisive initiative that investors -- global and Indian -- must declare their intention to invest in India...On a single day in a programme of two hours we were pledged USD 75 billion investment in the field of ICT and other allied services," Prasad said while launching Indo-Africa ICT Expo.

The ministry on July 1 is estimated to have received an investment commitment of about Rs 4.7 lakh crore from leading Indian conglomerates and global companies including Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel, Aditya Birla group and Vedanta.

Talking about fostering innovation, Prasad said: "In India we have got a very fantastic expression 'Jugaad' technology. What is a jugaad technology? In simple terms, innovation. I always say that jugaad technology must be filtered into sophisticated technology to make India a powerful country."

Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg said that rising demand of telecom equipment in the country has led to manufacturing of products domestically that can cater to the need of global market as well.

"Rapid growth of the sector has fuelled demand for telecom equipment (in India) including mobile phones which is USD 20 billion for 2015-16 and is expected to exceed USD 30 billion by 2020. This large demand has created strong base on which Indian companies have created innovative high quality products and solution," Garg said.

He said these products can not only meet the need of domestic market but also global market like Kenya.

"As you know Kenya and other African countries are one of the major importers of our telecom equipment. Last year, export from India to global market, including Africa and Europe, was over Rs 20,000 crore which is more than USD 3 billion," Garg said.

The minister with Kenyan Cabinet Secretary Fred O Matiang'i announced dates for three day Indo-Africa ICT Summit 2015 to be held in September-end in Nairobi, Kenya.

"When I see Africa on canvas of international politics, I always note India in some way has very crucial role in awakening and empowerment of Africa...From Digital literacy to digital empowerment to digital delivery of services to manufacturing. This experience must be shared with Africa," Prasad said.

Garg said that more than 100 ICT companies will participate in the summit.

First Published: Tue, July 07 2015. 21:07 IST