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Indian telecom manufacturers urge govt action against Chinese imports

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In Short:

Indian telecom gear vendors like TCS and Tejas Networks are asking the government to stop imports of equipment from China, which goes against the idea of a self-reliant India. Despite guidelines to source from trusted places, imports from China are increasing, hurting local businesses. The association of indigenous gear makers is urging for strict actions against violators and better control over procurement to keep out Chinese products.

Domestic Telecom Gear Vendors Seek Government Intervention Against Chinese Imports

Domestic telecom gear vendors, including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tejas Networks, HFCL, and Sterlite Technologies (STL), have raised concerns about the continued imports of telecom equipment from China. They argue that these imports go against the spirit of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) and could hinder their business growth.

Concerns Raised by Domestic Telecom Gear Makers

The Voice of Indian Communication Technology Enterprises (VoICE), representing indigenous telecom gear manufacturers, highlighted that despite government guidelines on sourcing from trusted sources, imports from China into India’s telecom sector account for nearly 40% of the total imports.

Key players in the telecom space, such as Sterlite Technologies (STL), HFCL, and Birla Cables, also manufacture optical fiber cables (OFC) in India. Despite this, OFCs are being imported from China, raising questions about the necessity of such imports.

Import Data and Concerns

Data from VoICE reveals that companies like Cisco, D-Link, TP-Link, among others, are top importers of equipment like access points, switches, and radio equipment from China. For example, Cisco’s imports of access points from China amounted to Rs 394 crore, followed by other players.

Similarly, imports of switches and radio equipment from China also raised concerns about adherence to government policies and recommendations for stricter actions against violators.

Calls for Government Intervention and Review

VoICE has urged the government to take stronger actions against erring officials and review procurement processes, especially on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), to prevent Chinese products from entering government and PSU orders.

The association also emphasized the need for stringent controls on traders who may route equipment through shell establishments to evade detection by customs officials.

Recommendations for Centralized Blacklisting Portal

The telecom gear makers have suggested the establishment of a centralized portal for blacklisting and banning companies engaged in such practices across different government departments and ministries to ensure stricter enforcement of policies.

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