New Delhi: The Ministry of Telecommunications (DoT) suspended its ordinance which expanded the list of telecommunications products that a government entity can only source from local manufacturers. The DoT in an Aug. 31 order included SD-WAN routers and switches, which are used to connect branch offices and remote data centers, and two dozen other telecommunications equipment in public markets (Preference to do in India), the 2017 order and the permitted use of components imported into them.

The “notification (…) dated August 31, 2021 issued by the DoT is held in abeyance until further notice,” a September 27 memorandum said.

The telecommunications department did not immediately give a reason for doing so.

The order of August 31st stipulated that only local manufacturers were allowed to participate in tenders because there is “sufficient local capacity and local competition”. However, it allowed the use of imported components in telecommunications products, giving foreign sellers the opportunity to qualify as local manufacturers as well, even with a tiny amount of local added value.

State-owned banks issued tenders after the Aug. 31 ordinance referred to a preference for domestic manufacturers, but did not explicitly call for such purchases from Indian companies only, have said. said industry sources.

The fact of not obliging only “Make in India” companies to offer equipment allowed global players to also participate in the call for tenders, going against the very objective of the policy. they said, adding that questions had been raised regarding the tenders launched by some of the state-owned banks. not meeting the “Make in India” standard.

The banks in question, they said, have held their own by not seeking only Make in India bidders. Just as this happened, the DoT put the August 31 order on hold.

In addition to SD-WAN routers, other products notified in the August 31 order included Ethernet switches, IP-based softswitches, wired PABXs, leased line modems, broadband wireless access systems based over Wi-Fi, a Wi-Fi access controller, a radio system, repeaters, satellite phones, optical fibers and telecommunications batteries.

The national body of telecommunications equipment manufacturers TEMA said the ordinance issued allowing the use of imported components was contrary to the domestic industry, the anti-Aatmanirbhar Bharat (Autonomous India) vision and the policies envisaged by the Prime Minister.

When contacted, Telecom Equipment Manufacturers’ Association of India (TEMA) President Emeritus NK Goyal said the previous ordinance raised concerns over the treatment of imported components as local content, when they were assembled in India and eligible for the Preferential Market Access (PMA) policy.

“TEMA would also like to argue that the Production Incentive Scheme (PLI) only considers two criteria – investment and turnover. The PLI regime does not envisage any commitment for local content, exports, jobs. of national added value and local content, they must follow PPP MII guidelines to reap the benefits of PMA, ”said Goyal.


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