Expressing optimism about the growth opportunities provided by the Internet, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) will herald an e-commerce revolution in India. Also Read - Facebook will now make money from WhatsApp's in-app purchases
The ambitious project worth around Rs 35,000 crore aims to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to 2.50 lakh gram panchayats in India by March 2017. “NOFN will lead to an empowered India with villages boarding the Internet superway. It will also lead to an explosion of e-commerce in the country,” Prasad said at the first meeting of the Center and States to deliberate on various initiatives under the Digital India programme. Also Read - Flipkart to acquire Rs 1,500 crore worth stake in Aditya Birla Group's Fashion retail
A lot of growth opportunities, both for the industry and people, will come up with the whole country being connected through broadband, he added. “As Internet will reach villages and all the cities, the people there will go online to shop for things, which in turn will lead to expansion of e-commerce and opening up of more warehouses. This will lead to creation of more jobs and growth in the economy,” the Minister said. Also Read - Flipkart shares customer behavior insights post coronavirus lockdown; here is everything we know
According to a joint study by consultancy firm PwC and industry body Assocham, the size of the e-retail industry is poised to touch $10-20 billion by 2017-2020 and e-commerce firms are expected to spend up to $1.9 billion by 2017-2020 on infrastructure, logistics and warehousing. Another report by consulting firm Technopak pegs the $ 2.3 billion e-tailing market to reach $32 billion by 2020.