New Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday assumed charge at his Ministry and held detailed discussion with senior officials and heads of telecom PSUs. BJP MP Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State for communications, also took charge at the Ministry.
Senior officials of Telecom Ministry and heads of state-owned telecom corporations — Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd and Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd (TCIL) were also present on the occasion.
Prasad’s stature in the Modi 2.0 government has got bigger and he has regained the telecom ministry, adding it to his heavyweight portfolio of IT as well as Law and Justice.
In telecom, an industry which is in throes of financial distress but, at the same time, rolling up its sleeves for 5G play in the global arena, Prasad’s top priorities will be to find ways and means to set the sector back to its growth trajectory.
High on agenda also will be nurturing the telecom PSUs – BSNL and MTNL – back to health, particularly given the recent challenge they faced in payment of staff salaries.
A four-time Rajya Sabha MP, Prasad, has in the past, played a key role in driving the momentum of Narendra Modi government’s flagship programmes including Digital India and also led the charge on several initiatives to galvanise electronics and mobile handset manufacturing in the country.
Under his watch, the mobile phone and component manufacturing units in India increased to 268 in the last 3-4 years resulting in estimated employment for 6.7 lakh people (direct and indirect).