DoT tells BSNL to toe the line on preferential market access

13 Dec 2013

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued a notice to state-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), requesting that the operator stick to guidelines regarding the sourcing of equipment from domestic suppliers. The Economic Times cites the DoT note as saying: ‘It has been brought to our notice … that BSNL’s tender for procuring telecom gear … has conditions that discourage domestic original equipment makers.’ State-owned firms such as BSNL must adhere to preferential market access (PMA) policy, requiring them to purchase a minimum amount of their equipment from Indian suppliers. The DoT acted in response to complaints from United Telecoms Ltd and the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) that BSNL had placed ‘restrictive product specifications’ and mandatory prior experience clauses in its tender, limiting the involvement of native vendors.