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New Delhi, NFAPost: India’s apex industry body ASSOCHAM released a research report on ‘Enabling a Trillion Dollar Digital Economy,’ which states that the country is geared towards its trillion-dollar digital economy as there is massive digital adoption across diverse sectors backed by a solid telecom infrastructure.

As part of publishing the report, Assocham also organised a dialogue on the topic via a webinar where a host of eminent speakers including Member of Parliament Amar Patnaik, Ministry of Electronics and IT Special Secretary & Financial Adviser Jyoti Arora, Department of Telecom Additional Secretary Anita Praveen, IAS, and TRAI Secretary S K. Gupta.

Speaking at the webinar, TRAI Secretary S K Gupta said that the telecom sector directly contributes around 6.5% to India’s GDP, however, its indirect contribution would be in the range of 30%.

“The importance of digital technology can be understood during the time of the pandemic. If most of us are sitting at home and are still connected to get our work done, then it means a lot of work has gone in doing so,” said S K Gupta.

Digital transaction

Member of Parliament Amar Patnaik stated that one of the greatest things that India has managed to achieve during the challenging Covid times is the increase in digital transactions which has helped sectors like healthcare and education immensely.

“Uncover strategies to enable scalable, reliable, robust and sustainable last-mile fiberisation. This would cover not only the technical aspects of the rollout but the requirements of human capital and infrastructure limitations as well,” he said.

Amar Patnaik also pointed out that digital economy has the potential to bring 90% of the informal sector to the formal one.

“For us to achieve that we need to ensure that we have a strong digital infrastructure in place,” he said. Patnaik highlighted the need to ensure that people from the most remote corners of the country have access to the internet,” said Amar Patnaik.

Incentivise private sector 

He also opined that there is also a need to incentivise the private sector to ensure a greater level of participation. “Through digital technology, one can ensure that improved banking services can be provided in most villages. It can also help in the distribution of the talent pool in all areas, which is restricted only to urban cities and towns now,” he pointed out.

S K Gupta also highlighted that the telecom sector directly contributes around 6.5% to India’s GDP, however its indirect contribution would be in the range of 30%.

“The importance of digital technology can be understood during the time of the pandemic. If most of us are sitting at home and are still connected to get our work done, then it means a lot of work has gone in doing so,” he said.

Ministry of Electronics and IT Special Secretary & Financial Adviser Jyoti Arora stated that there has been a huge reduction in the transaction cost using digital technology.

Transform business

“Earlier for the verification of documents, there was a cost incurred to the tune of Rs 300- Rs 400, now through Aadhar enable e-verification, the costs have come down to just Rs 2-3 which is indeed remarkable,” She said.

Department of Telecom Additional Secretary Anita Praveen stated that digital technology plays an important role in the country’s ease of doing business mechanism.

“Digital technology ensures that sectors like education and health care continue to perform with full efficiency. Through online education and tele-health services, people living even in remote corners of the country use these services. However, a lot more needs to be done to bridge the digital divide,” she said.

Speaking at the event, Assocham Secretary General Deepak Sood explained that this pandemic has also accelerated the digitisation rate, which may have lasting impacts on our life and the economy.

“Our digital infrastructure needs to be enhanced to tackle this phenomenon. Commitment and urgent actions to promote long term growth of the digital economy that are required to improve the health of the industry and the investments in the digital infrastructure,” he said.

P Balaji, Chairman, National Council on Digital Communications stated that a data-driven economy like India demands continuous cycles of investment, particularly to meet the vision of a trillion dollar digital economy.

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