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The Cabinet decision on the telecom sector are a "watershed moment", said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. The PM said the reforms are a win-win for the sector and consumers as they will ensure sectoral growth and job opportunities.

Taking to Twitter, PM Modi wrote, "It is a watershed moment for the telecom sector, which plays a critical role in connecting and empowering our nation. Today's reforms approved by the Cabinet are a win-win for the sector and consumers. They ensure sectoral growth and job opportunities."

In his reaction to another decision of the Cabinet for the auto and drone industry, he said, "Continuing the reform trajectory, the Cabinet has approved a PLI Scheme for the auto industry and drone industry. This will give an impetus to manufacturing and bring the sector at par with global trends as well as best practices." 

The Union Cabinet, chaired by PM Modi, has approved a number of structural and process reforms in the Telecom sector that includes a four-year break for companies from paying statutory dues, permission to share scarce airwaves, change in the definition of revenue on which levies are paid and 100 per cent foreign investment through the automatic route. 

The measures, aimed at providing relief to companies such as Vodafone Idea that have to pay thousands of crores in unprovisioned past statutory dues, also include the scrapping of Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC) for airwaves acquired in future spectrum auctions.

According to the Cabinet, in the backdrop of the outstanding performance of the Telecom Sector in meeting Covid-19 challenges, with the huge surge in data consumption, online education, work from home, interpersonal connect through social media, virtual meetings etc., the Reform measures will further boost the proliferation and penetration of broadband and telecom connectivity.

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