FinMin seeks DoT's view on attracting top global telecom firms
New Delhi: After allowing 100 percent FDI in the telecom sector, the government is making efforts to attract global giants such as China Telecom to help revive investment flows, sources said.
The Finance Ministry has written to the Department of Telecom to suggest ways to lure investments from top overseas telecom companies, they added.
In an internal analysis, the Department of Economic Affairs said only six of the 18 top telecom companies listed in Fortune's Global 500, a ranking of corporations worldwide by revenue, have invested in India, according to sources.
It said no telecom firm in the Fortune 500, a listing of US companies by revenue, have invested in the country.
Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram asked DoT Secretary M F Farooqui in a letter last week to critically analyse the findings and make suggestions, the sources said.
"I would request you to have these examined critically from the viewpoint of attracting foreign investment and shall request you for your reasoned comments and suggestions at the earliest," Mayaram said, according to the sources.
The DEA listed South Korea's SK Telecom, China Mobile Communications, Germany's Deutsche Telekom, Mexican mobile operator America Movil and state-run China Telecommunications among the companies that don't have investments in India.
The DEA report said it is possible that some of these overseas companies may have some form of business presence via liaison or branch office.
Foreign companies that have invested in the country's telecom sector include Vodafone, Telenor, Sistema, SingTel and Maxis.
The government plans to hold a third round of spectrum auctions by January after the previous two rounds were only partially successful due to high floor prices.
According to the government, foreign direct investment in India's telecom sector plummeted 96 percent to USD 70.46 million in the April to November 2012 period from a year earlier. The Cabinet approved increasing the FDI limit in the sector to 100 percent in August.