Communication ministry gets Rs 1,23,393.05 cr in Budget 2023

Communication ministry gets Rs 1,23,393.05 cr in Budget 2023

The Ministry of Communications got a boost in their annual budget for FY2023-24 as the Union Finance minister allocated a sum of Rs 1,23,393.05 crore, an increment over last year’s Rs 1,05,406.82 crore.

Out of the total budget allocated to the Ministry, the Department of Telecommunications got Rs 97,579.05 crore up from Rs 84,586.80 crore in the previous year.

In her speech for the ‘First Amrit Kaal’ Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman emphasized on ensuring efficient telecommunication connectivity in the rural parts of the country.

She also proposed the setting up of 100 labs to develop applications for the use of 5G services to be set up in engineering institutions saying, “one hundred labs for developing applications using 5G services will be set up in engineering institutions to realize a new range of opportunities, business models, and employment potential. Thelabs will cover, among others, applications such as smart classrooms, precision farming, intelligent transport systems, and health care applications.”

However, the budget allotted for the 5G Connectivity Test Bed by the Ministry of Communication has been reduced to nearly half, i.e., from Rs 10 Cr in the previous year to Rs 5.56 Cr for the present year.

The budget for the ruling government’s landmark project, aimed at providing non-discriminatory access to broadband connectivity to all the telecom service providers in all the 2.5 lakh gram panchayats (GPs) of India has been reduced by Rs 2,000 crore and allotted a sum of Rs 5,000 crore for FY2023-24.

ministry of communication
Graphic by: Saumya Saxena

As per the Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) report dated 26th September 2022, so far, 1,80,052 Gram Panchayats have been connected through the ‘Bharat Net’ project and 5,96,151 Kms of OFC has been laid. Additionally, 214,584 Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) connections are commissioned and 104,611 Wi-Fi hotspots have been installed to ensure last-mile connectivity.

The project was approved by Union Cabinet on 25.10.2011 and is expected to be completed by 2025. The project is being executed by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), which has been incorporated on 25.02.2012 under Indian Companies Act 1956. On 30.04.2016, the Telecom Commission approved the implementation of the project in three phases— laying the cable, installing Wi-Fi hotspots, and making the hotspots active.

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