Besides advocating renewal of telecom licences every 10 years, telecom minister Kapil Sibal also called for liberal mergers and acquisitions and a minimum of six competitors in each circle in the New Telecom Policy-2011
New Delhi: Amid controversy over allocation of spectrum and grant of telecom licences, the government today said all licences are proposed to be renewed after 10 years instead of 20-year period earlier, reports PTI.
"The telecom companies under the proposed New Telecom Policy (NTP)-2011 will have to file an application 30 months prior for the renewal of the telecom licenses and it (the licence) will be renewed for 10 years unlike 20 years as of now," telecom minister Kapil Sibal said.
The minister said this while unveiling the road contours of the New Telecom Policy-2011 and Department of Telecom's (DoT) 100-days action plan and achievements.
Mr Sibal, who took over the reigns of the ministry after the unceremonious exit of his predecessor A Raja, had on 1st January initiated the plan to formulate the NTP-2011.
The minister said the DoT will hire agencies for regular audit of spectrum and its usage to ensure proper utilisation of scarce natural resource.
The NTP-2011, among other things, calls for liberal mergers and acquisitions and a minimum of six competitors in each circle, including BSNL.
"Spectrum sharing should be considered to finalise the new policy," Mr Sibal said.
The DoT has also announced formation of a committee for the National Spectrum Act, headed by retired judge Shivraj V Patil.
The DoT has also formed a broadband committee to look into the issues related to national broadband plan headed by telecom expert and advisor to the prime minister, Sam Pitroda.
Mr Sibal, while expressing confidence that NTP-2011 will be finalised by year-end, said spectrum will be delinked from licence.
The government is yet to decide on the pricing mechanism for second generation (2G) spectrum, he said when asked whether it has worked out a formula to recover additional amount from the telecom operators who were awarded 2G licences.
The government has revised its inflation forecast for the period ending 31st March to 7.5% from 7% due to a host of problems, including high crude prices. This, however, is still lower than the RBI estimates of inflation at 8% for the given period
Kolkata: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today said that while food inflation has come down, it still remained a matter of grave concern and steps are being taken to bring it down, reports PTI.
"Food inflation has come down from 20% in February 2010 to 8.9% in March 2011. But still it is very high," Mr Mukherjee said here today.
He said that all the necessary economic measures had been taken to bring down inflation. "We have taken both demand and supply side measures to bring inflation down."
He said that while there is a short supply in food production, "Measures have been taken to improve the supply position."
Besides, to curb the excessive demand, spurred by rise in disposable income at middle class level, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been mopping up excess liquidity by varying the repo and reverse repo rates from time to time.
"I hope these two measures will have a sobering effect on inflation," he said.
The government has revised its inflation forecast for the period ending 31st March to 7.5% from 7% due to a host of problems, including high crude prices. This, however, is still lower than the RBI estimates of inflation at 8% for the given period.