Communications ministry increases grant for BharatNet and USOF

In FY2018-19, the government has approved grant of Rs. 6,995 crore for BharatNet and Rs. 1,575 crore for Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) showing a jump of 37 per cent and 35 per cent respectively

The government of India has approved Rs. 38,055.28 crore for Ministry of Communications for FY2018-19 of which Rs. 33,052.53 crore is shown as revenue and Rs. 5,002.75 crore is shown as capital.

BharatNet has seen a big jump of 37 per cent to reach Rs. 6,999 crore thanks to 2.5 lakh gram panchayat connectivity program and WiFi deployment in all gram panchayats whereas USOF has also seen a jump of 35 per cent to reach Rs. 1,575 crore due to increase in telecom and broadband connectivity in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) states and North Eastern states.

Budget Estimates 2018-19 (Rs. Cr):

Organisation BE2018-19RE2017-18
Controller of Comm A/C Office137137
Vigilance Telecom Monitoring Cell120120
Wireless Monitoring Services38.836.98
Administration USOF9.657.84

Source: Ministry of Communications

There has been a drop in budget for C-DOT and Directorate whereas organisations like TEC (Telecom Engineering Centre), Wireless Monitoring Services, TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal), WPC (Wireless Planning & Coordination) and Administration USOF have seen an increase in budget. Organisations like TRAI, Vigilance Telecom Monitoring Cell and Controller of Communication Account Office has seen no increase in budget for FY2018-19.

Details of Individual Work Costing Rs. 5 Cr and Above:

  • OFC Based Network for Defence Services – 4,500
  • Directorate – 50
  • TEC – 14.12
  • Monitoring Services – 35
  • Training Institute for Communication Finance – 111.15
  • Telecom Testing and Security Certification Centre – 27
  • Telecom CERT – 15
  • Central Equipment Identity Register – 15
  • Indigenous 5G Connectivity Test Bed – 134.48
  • ITI Revival (Equity Investment) – 100 

Source: Ministry of Communications 

For individual work costing Rs. 5 crore and above, OFC based network for defence services has been allocated a budget of Rs. 4,500 crore, followed by Training Institute for Communication Finance Rs. 111.15 crore, Indigenous 5G Connectivity Test Bed Rs.134.48 and ITI Revival (Equity Investment) Rs. 100 crore.   

Telecom Testing and Security Certification Centre has been allocated a budget of Rs. 27 crore whereas TEC has been allocated Rs. 14.12 crore for setting up various lab like: NGN Test lab, SAR lab, EMF Test lab, CPE lab, Green Passport lab, LTE Access lab, Regional Test lab, NGN Control lab, Cyber Security lab and Knowledge Responsibility and Management Centre at ATIPRIT. Telecom CERT and Central Equipment Identity Register has been allocated Rs. 15 crore each.

It is good to know that the ministry of communications is investing a lot in new technologies like 5G, NGN, cyber security and others in FY2018-19 to have an edge with other developing countries so that India can move up in the global digital index.


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