FM asks Raja to push Trai amendment Bill in winter session

FM asks Raja to push Trai amendment Bill in winter session

New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has asked telecom minister A Raja to complete the ground work on the Trai (Amendment) Bill, 2008 on relaxing rules for appointment of regulators so that it could be taken up for consideration in the winter session of Parliament.

The amendment will allow even those who resigned from Government services to apply for jobs in Trai.

The Department of Telecom had earlier suggested that non-Government experts be allowed to apply for the posts. At present, only Government officials of Additional Secretary or Secretary or any equivalent post in the Central or State Government for a period of three years are eligible.

The Bill said “The provisions of Trai Act of 1997 has been considered as unreasonable, inconsistent and having no nexus with the object of finding an appropriate person to be appointed as chairperson or member of the Trai."

Further it said a person even with excellent track record outside government jobs were not eligible under section 4 of the Trai Act, 1997, if they had not held the post of Secretary or Additional Secretary or equivalent rank in the Central or the State Government for at least three years.

The proposed Amendment Bill is to remove the inconsistency in the qualifications of the chairperson and other members of Trai, according to the Bill.

The Department of Telecom is of the view that the move is in line with the selection criteria followed by other regulators such as the IRDA, CERC and Sebi.

“You are aware that Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2008 concerning your ministry, which was introduced in the previous session and the report of which has already been presented by the Standing Committee.

“Needless to say it shall be our endeavour to see that the pending legislation is taken up in both Houses for consideration and passing in the ensuing Winter Session," Mukherjee said in a letter to Raja.