PM Modi Led Cabinet Approves Rs 19,041 Crore Funding Support For Implementation Of BharatNet Under PPP Model In 16 States

by Swarajya Staff - Jun 30, 2021 11:18 AM
PM Modi Led Cabinet Approves Rs 19,041 Crore Funding Support For Implementation Of BharatNet Under PPP Model In 16 StatesRepresentative image. (Website/PSP DataComms)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Union Cabinet on Wednesday (30 June) accorded approval for revised implementation strategy of BharatNet through Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode in 16 states of the country.

BharatNet will now extend upto all inhabited villages beyond gram panchayats (GPs) in these states.

The revised strategy also includes creation, upgradation, operation, maintenance and utilisation of BharatNet by the concessionaire who will be selected by a competitive international bidding process, an official release said.

The estimated maximum viability gap funding approved for the aforementioned PPP model is Rs 19,041 crore.

The states covered under the cabinet approval today are Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, the release said.

An estimated 3.61 lakh villages including gram panchayats will be covered under the revised strategy.

The Cabinet also accorded in principle approval for extending BharatNet to cover all inhabited villages in the remaining states and UTs. Department of Telecommunication will separately workout the modalities for the remaining states and UTs, it said.

The PPP Model will leverage private sector efficiency for operation, maintenance, utilisation and revenue generation and is expected to result in faster roll out of BharatNet, the release added.

The selected concessionaire (private sector partner) is expected to provide reliable, high speed broadband services as per pre-defined Services Level Agreement (SLA), it said.

According to the release, extension of the reach of BharatNet to all inhabited villages with reliable, quality, high speed broadband will enable better access of e-services offered by various Central and state government agencies.

It will also enable online education, telemedicine, skill development, e-commerce and other applications of broadband.

Further, the release added that it is expected that revenue will be generated from different sources including proliferation of broadband connections to individuals and institutions, sale of dark fibre, fiberisation of mobile towers, e-commerce etc.

The release added that the private sector partner is also expected to bring an equity investment and raise resources towards capital expenditure and for operation and maintenance of the network. Hence, the PPP Model for BharatNet will enhance efficiency, quality of service, consumer experience and leverage private sector expertise, entrepreneurship and capacities for accelerating achievement of digital India, it said, adding that this will also lead to substantial savings of public money.

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