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Union Budget 2022: Spectrum Auctions to Be Conducted This Year to Facilitate Rollout of 5G Services

Nirmala Sitharaman added that the contract for laying optical fibre in all villages will be awarded through the BharatNet project.

Union Budget 2022: Spectrum Auctions to Be Conducted This Year to Facilitate Rollout of 5G Services

Telecommunications sector in general and 5G, in particular, can enable growth and offer job opportunities

Highlights
  • Contract for laying optical fibre to be awarded through BharatNet project
  • The government will conduct a spectrum auction this year
  • Completion is expected in 2025

The government will conduct a spectrum auction this year, which will facilitate the roll-out of 5G services by private telecom operators during the financial year 2022-23, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday. "Spectrum auctions will be conducted in 2022 to facilitate the roll-out of 5G mobile services within 2022-23 by private telecom providers," Sitharaman said.

She said the telecommunications sector in general and 5G, in particular, can enable growth and offer job opportunities.

"A scheme for design-led manufacturing will be launched to build a strong ecosystem for 5G as part of the production-linked incentive scheme," Finance Minister Sitharaman said.

She said that to enable affordable broadband and mobile service proliferation in rural and remote areas, 5 percent of annual collections under the universal service obligation fund will be allocated.

"This will promote R&D and commercialisation of technologies and solutions. Our mission is that all villages and their residents should have the same access to e-services, communication facilities and digital resources as urban areas and their residents," the Finance Minister said.

She added that the contract for laying optical fibre in all villages, including remote areas, will be awarded through the BharatNet project through PPP in 2022-23.

"Completion is expected in 2025. Measures will be taken to enable better and more efficient use of the optical fibre," the Finance Minister said.

Among other announcements made during the Union Budget session, a cryptocurrency tax of 30 percent was also introduced. "There has been a phenomenal increase in transactions in virtual digital assets. The magnitude and frequency of these transactions are made it imperative to provide for a specified tax regime accordingly, for the taxation of virtual digital assets, I propose to provide that any income from transfer of any virtual digital asset shall be taxed at the rate of 30 percent," said Sitharaman.

"No deduction in respect of any expenditure or elements shall be allowed while computing such income except the cost of acquisition for loss from the transfer of virtual digital assets cannot be set off against any other income," she added.

Sitharaman announced that India will get its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) this year, which will be regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Sitharaman also said that e-passports with embedded chip and futuristic technology will be rolled out in 2022-23 to help citizens in their overseas travel.

Additionally, a Drone Shakti initiative was also announced. It will help commercialise the use of drones in different industries and will be promoted with the help of startups.


Why is 5G taking so long? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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