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Government drops proposal to create three funds worth Rs 17,500 crore in Telecom sector

Government has dropped the plan to create three funds for telecom R&D, manufacturing, with a total corpus of Rs 17,500 crore, it was a proposal by the Working Group for Telecom Sector in the 12th Plan for promoting research and development and manufacturing of telecom equipments in the country, as it can be covered under the Electronic Development Fund (EDF).

Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha stated that since the EDF would also take care of R&D and manufacturing of telecom products, the proposal to set up three separate funds was dropped. Earlier, the Cabinet on December 10, 2014 approved a proposal of Department of Electronics and IT to establish an EDF. The EDF is a venture capital fund in the nature of 'fund of funds' to participate in professionally managed 'daughter funds'. Sinha further said that setting up of EDF is one of the important strategies which would enable creating a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and research and development.

The daughter funds will provide risk capital to companies developing new technologies in the area of electronics, including telecommunications, nano-electronics and information technology. Out of total funds, the panel proposed a Telecom Manufacturing Promotion Fund of Rs 10,000 crore, Telecom Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund of Rs 2,500 crore and Telecom Research Development Fund of Rs 5,000 crore.

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