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Telecom equipment import issue to be resolved in few weeks

New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) India Friday said the issue of import of telecom equipment, especially from China, troubling the telecom sector will be resolved in a couple of weeks.

‘The issue will be resolved with the home ministry in a couple of weeks. I have already met the home minister. We want to find out some solutions how it (the issue) can be amicably settled,’ said Telecom Minister A. Raja.

Over the last few months, a controversy had arisen after security agencies raised concern over equipment supplied by Chinese vendors, saying that snooping technology may be embedded in the equipment.

Indian telecom companies have approached the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on difficulties they are facing in importing equipment from Chinese vendors, which is affecting their rollout obligations and expansion plans.

Also, leading Chinese equipment manufacturers like Huawei and ZTE have been complaining that the government has not approved their deals in the past few months.

The DoT has denied any blanket ban on import of equipment from China.

Cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar also Friday said that there is no ban on Chinese equipment.

‘Whatever we do is not for Chinese, it applies across the board. We have not put embargo on anybody,’ said Chandrasekhar.

Earlier this month the DoT said it would issue a list of the equipment which will require mandatory checking before purchase orders are placed by any operator.

Last week, China’s official Xinhua news agency quoted Commerce Minister Chen Deming as saying that Indian authorities had assured that the new security regulations would be fair and transparent, and would not be discriminatory to Chinese companies.

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