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Don’t wish to be known as ‘Call drop minister’: Ravi S Prasad

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New Delhi: Communications Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said that he did not wish to be known as the ”call drop minister” as he emphasised the need for telecom service providers to improve infrastructure and strengthen voice quality.

Speaking at the 88th annual general meeting of FICCI, he also said if regulators and government insist that the telecom companies have to provide a certain quality of services, then the firms need to oblige.

“We will continue to be tough on service quality as committed,” he said.

Incessant call drops incidents have created a lot of furore in the country this year. Recently, Prasad said there is a need for the telecom service operators to ramp up networks to improve service quality.

The minister also said on Saturday: “While I applaud telecom operators for spreading mobile services in the nook and corner of the country, I am equally concerned that quality of service must be maintained.”

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had decided to impose a penalty of Re.1 for dropped calls from January 1, 2016. A notification from the TRAI earlier said the calling customer will get a credit of Re.1 per call drop, limited to three such occurrences per day in a 24-hour cycle. Following that, the mobile operators have to send them an SMS within four hours.

Talking about the postal department, an upbeat Prasad said that he has asked the department to encourage e-commerce activities in the rural areas.

Regarding the payments banks licence which was granted to the department, Prasad mentioned how his government pushed for the licence despite opposition to it. (IANS), (image courtesy: kachwanya.com)

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FICCI Recommends Government to Grant Priority Status to Healthcare Sector in Upcoming Budget

On taxes, the Ficci official said that reduction in corporate tax will boost the mood of the corporate sector and support the economy

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ficci, healthcare
File:Assistant Secretary Rivkin Meets With Chairman of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)'s Intellectual Property Rights Committee Sabharwal in New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) has recommended to the government to accord priority status to the healthcare sector in the upcoming budget. Sangita Reddy, Senior Vice President, Ficci, said on Thursday that the industry is looking forward to a clear and proactive policy in the upcoming budget including priority status to the health sector.

“Healthcare must receive a priority status so that it enables easier access to funding,” said Reddy, who is also the Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise. In a video address on Ficci’s Youtube channel, Reddy noted that India has done a “commendable job towards universal health coverage by undertaking Ayushman Bharat”.

However, she added that private sector participation will be needed to scale up in areas like capability, number of beds, manpower and training. “The industry is also seeking support to get investment towards the new age healthcare and in that, data sharing, digitalisation, electronic health record, personal health records – all are very important buzz points,” she added.

healthcare, ficci
“Healthcare must receive a priority status so that it enables easier access to funding,” said Reddy, who is also the Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise. Pixabay

Recommending steps to support startups, Reddy said that angel tax must be removed as it helps in spurring the entrepreneurial spirit, creating and nurturing innovation, and creating startups which can be the unicorns of tomorrow.

Highlighting the importance of the environment and water, she said that some important budget announcements for water conservation and preservation were expected. On taxes, the Ficci official said that reduction in corporate tax will boost the mood of the corporate sector and support the economy.

ALSO READ: Poor Oral Health Associated with Liver Cancer: Study

Also, an upward revision in the individual income tax slabs will further boost consumption and enhance GDP growth. Reddy also said that there are a lot of opportunities for the banking sector. “The banking sector needs further look whether in terms of promoting greater liquidity or innovation in terms of the enablement of more hands having access to low cost funding,” she said.

Reddy stressed on strengthening the education sector. “The education sector and the follow through of what happens to human resources is another very important area which I am sure the budget will focus on,” she said. (IANS)