Government on Friday said the drive to make India a manufacturing destination for telecom equipment is likely to see foreign direct investment of up to $800 million in the current financial year.
"A host of foreign companies like Nokia, LG, Nortel and Alcatel have lined up to set up plants in India. We are hopeful to get investment ranging between $600-800 million in 2005-06," Communication and IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran told news agencies in New Delhi.
Maran is meeting Intel, AMD and hard disk manufacturer Seagate to invite them to set up manufacturing facilities in India. "I am going to the US in the first week of June with a sole objective to bring these companies in India," the minister added.
Intel, he said, has to finalise the location between India, China and Vietnam.
Government has set an ambitious target of reaching 250 million telephone subscribers by 2007 and the two PSUs Mahanagar Telephone Nigam and Bharat Sanchar Nigam -- would be adding nearly 80 million. Currently India has 100 million phones.
To facilitate telecom players to roll out networks faster, especially in the rural areas, Maran said the government would amend the Telegraph Act to make cellular operators beneficiaries of the Universal Service Obligation Fund.BSNL is likely to invite tenders for adding 40 million GSM lines next month followed by another tender for similar number of lines, he said.