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New Delhi: The telecom bill and the digital personal data protection bill will be taken up in Parliament for passing by July-August, said IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, adding that the government was giving more time for consultation post issuing their drafts, 

Speaking at the Google for India event on Monday, the minister said the telecom bill, digital personal data protection bill, and the new digital India bill will come into action after 14-16 months, post which India will have in place a comprehensive regulatory framework.

He added that the telecom bill and the digital personal data protection bill will be taken to Parliament for passing by July-August 2023, adding that the government was giving more time for consultation post issuing their drafts.

"We're targeting creation of a comprehensive regulatory framework including the telecom bill which looks at the telecom sector, the digital personal data protection bill which looks at the non-personal data and the digital India bill, which will look at everything else. It is a 14-16 month exercise. We expect the two existing bills to be passed in Parliament by July-August," he said referring to the draft telecom bill and draft digital personal data protection bill that have been put up for public consultation and their deadlines have been extended for giving inputs by stakeholders.

"We're giving a lot of time on consultation... the solution emerging is really good," the minister added.

The government issued the digital telecom bill in September where it proposed to increase the scope of telecommunication services by including over-the-top (OTT), internet-based and satellite-based communication services, broadcasting, internet and broadband services within its ambit, which has been red-flagged by social media and technology companies in the messaging space as it could lead to regulation of OTT communication apps. While the government has specified that it would engage in light-touch regulation, affected companies are continuing to oppose this proposal.

The draft personal data protection bill was issued mid last month under which it proposed to impose hefty financial penalties going upto 500 crore depending on the severity, duration and impact on users of a data breach and the ability of an entity to prevent such a data breach.

The minister emphasised on the role of the private sector, including start-ups, for joining with the government and creating own solutions for payments, which can in turn help small start-ups to grow into large banks.

He also put focus on private sector building solutions on top of the India Stack which includes identification through Aadhaar and digital payments through UPI, which can be used not only by developing nations but also by developed and advanced economies.

"We have memoranda of understanding with 30 countries on payments... our companies can work with foreign institutions and develop trusted solutions," Vaishnaw said. He added that India was building similar stacks for health and logistics.

Google and Alphabet chief executive officer Sundar Pichai said that Google had built Google Pay app using the India stack and using the model to take it to other countries. "In India you can leapfrog and reach the next solution, and take it in other countries," he said, noting the scale of the Indian market and the technological adoption enabled by users in the Indian market.

Vaishnaw said that artificial Intelligence or AI will play a big role in India's technology story in areas like agriculture and making credit accessible to people at the bottom of the pyramid besides rapid adoption of technology across sectors.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gulveen Aulakh
Gulveen Aulakh is Senior Assistant Editor at Mint, serving dual roles covering the disinvestment landscape out of New Delhi, and the telecom & IT sectors as part of the corporate bureau. She had been tracking several government ministries for the last ten years in her previous stint at The Economic Times. An IIM Calcutta alumnus, Gulveen is fluent in French, a keen learner of new languages and avid foodie.
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Updated: 19 Dec 2022, 03:32 PM IST
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