TELECOM FRANCHISES, RETAIL AND SERVICE PERSONNEL AS IMMEDIATE REQUIREMENT DURING FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 (TELECOM/ICT)
The undersigned is directed to refer to this Ministry’s O.M. No. 2-6/2007-DW dated
20th March 2020 and later 27th March 2020 on the subject.
It has been observed that despite earlier alerts and recommendations regarding the
importance of telecom sector in the current crisis situation by this Ministry, the concerned
administrations are still closing the franchises, retails and service personnel’s movement for operations
and maintenance of all the licensed telecom networks and services.
It is apprised that the closure of the telecom value chain is impacting communications
and connectivity of people especially during the current circumstances where telecom operations are
supporting all help lines, government Corona awareness, and caution & relief efforts. Lack of
connectivity, in times of isolation/work from home/lock downs, for the population will lead to panic
Additionally, the lower income staff, that mostly use mobile financial services to
transfer money to their homes in remote areas, is facing frustration and problems without (1) availability
of open cellular franchises & retails and (ii) enough cash to disburse money. This has severe operational
limitation for various government initiatives and plans to dispense cash to vulnerable population via
mobile financial services as most of the low end population only have cellular services to transfer
5. Use of telecom services and smart phones has increased since the current emergency.
Availability of locally assembled smart phones is crucial to ensure that we reduce our dependence on
import of smartphones, save valuable foreign exchange and ensure limited business and employment
continuity during current crunch time. Furthermore, availability of locally assembled smartphones shall
help the government in cost effective execution of strategic plans e.g. distribution of rations for the
affectees of the lock-down areas and monitoring of field teams etc.