India needs foreign cash says Minister

23 Dec 2004

India’s telecoms sector is in need of a major boost from foreign capital if the government is to meet its target of having 250 million phone lines installed by the end of 2007. This is according to the country’s Telecoms Minister, Dayanidhi Maran, who says the sector needs between INR1,000 billion and INR1,500 billion (USD23-34 billion) and he expects this to come from foreign direct investment (FDI). Maran is currently trying to push through legislation which will allow foreign companies to own up to 74% of an Indian firm; the current ceiling is 49%. India is home to around 34 million cellular subscribers and 45 million fixed line customers.

India