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DeiTY constitutes NEPM

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To boost domestic manufacturing, Department of IT & Electronics (DeiTY) has constituted the National Planning & Monitoring Council (NEPM) to enforce local electronics sourcing rules in case of government contracts.

The move comes after several local electronics, hardware and telecom product suppliers complained that they were facing problems in participating in Rs 13,000-crore plus telecom infrastructure project for the armed forces since the eligibility norms were skewed in favour of foreign vendors. The telecom venture is being implemented by state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.

In fact, leading industry lobbies such as the Indian Electronics & Semiconductor Association, Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association, Elcina Electronics Industries Association of India and the Telecom System Design & Manufacturers Association had written to telecom & IT minister Kapil Sibal, DeiTY and the Prime Minister’s Office recently seeking strict enforcement of the preferential market access (PMA) policy that mandates domestic sourcing of electronics/telecom products for government contracts.

Accordingly, DeiTY has set in motion a governance mechanism “to oversee implementation of a policy to provide preference to domestically manufactured electronics products in government procurement”, says the note.

The policy will apply “in case of electronics procurement by all central ministries/departments, except in defence”. But it would apply for electronics purchases by BSNL towards building the telecom network for the armed forces since the project is a communications ministry initiative. The local sourcing rules will apply for electronics purchases for governmental purpose and not with a view to use in goods for commercial sale.

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