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Govt to spend around $5.4B on broadband in 3 years

 Government plans to spend around Rs 33,000 crore over next 3 years on broadband projects, a top official said here today.

"Government will be spending approximately Rs 33,000 crore in coming three years in these (National Optical Fibre Network, Government Users Network, etc.) programme," Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg said at an Assocham event.

While government has already approved Rs 21,000 crore for NOFN which aims to connect all 2.5 lakh village panchayat by March 2017, funds for GUN that will be used to deliver broadband service are yet to be approved by the Cabinet.

As per initial estimates, the capital expenditure for GUN is estimated to around Rs 4,942 crore and operational expense (opex) of Rs 2,472 crore per annum will be required.

The estimates have been sent to Expenditure Finance Committee for clearance after which it will be placed before the Cabinet for final nod.

Garg said the survey of about 2 lakh village panchayats has been completed and the work will be expedited as the rainy season is now over.

"We believe that by end of this financial, we will be completing more than 50,000 village panchayats," Garg said.

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