The union cabinet today approved the proposal for change in funding arrangement for the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) schemes, including the funding of the scheme for creation of National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) from non-Plan to Plan allocation in the budget.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has made the proposal based on the advice of the Department of Economic Affairs of the finance ministry wherein it was suggested that the funding of USOF schemes, including the scheme for creation of the National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) should continue to be financed out of the Plan allocation for better appraisal, monitoring and performance evaluation.
Accordingly the DoT, on 4 October 2012, submitted the proposal for reverting to the earlier arrangement for allocation through Plan head for cabinet approval. The scheme is being implemented by the finance ministry through Plan funds from the financial year 2011-12 onwards.
Earlier, while submitting the proposal regarding scheme for creation of the National Optical Fiber Network for broadband connectivity to panchayats, the department had proposed restoration of budgetary allocations towards USOF expenditure under non-Plan budget to avoid procedural delays and to ensure timely allocation of funds.
The cabinet had, in October 2011, approved the proposal regarding the creation of the National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) for broadband connectivity to panchayats.