Accentuating more on the growth opportunities provided by the internet and expressing optimism about it, communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) will herald an e-commerce revolution in India.

The ambitious project that aims to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in India by March 2017, is worth around Rs 35,000 crore.

“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 Centre and states to deliberate on various initiatives under the Digital India programme.

He also said that the whole country being connected through broadband will bring a lot of growth opportunities, both for the industry and people.

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“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.

Besides, it is also expected according to a recent study that by 2017-2020, the size of the e-retail industry will touch $10-20 billion and e-commerce firms will spend up to $1.9 billion on infrastructure, logistics and warehousing.

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