Spectrum Act drafting committee to meet Friday

Spectrum Act drafting committee to meet Friday

New Delhi: A six-member committee that will draft the National Spectrum Act will meet on Friday for the first time to look into the impact of proposed policy changes on the country’s telecom sector.

The committee, headed by Judge (retired) Shivraj V. Patil, has five other members including academics and department of telecommunications (DoT) officials.

Patil had carried out the internal DoT investigation into deficient policy implementation by the officials of the ministry over the last 10 years.

The new draft will contain rules and regulations to govern spectrum in the country, including management, usage as well as charges. This include the one-time charge for additional charge as well as those payable as part of the revenue-sharing agreement the telcos have with the government.

The National Spectrum Act will also contain the liberalised merger and acquisitions (M&A) rules that the government is looking to implement to lower the number of telecom operators to six as suggested by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). There are zz operators in India currently.

Trai’s recommendations on overall 2G spectrum management, submitted in May last year to DoT, are expected to be among those the committee will be using to formulate its draft.

Communications minister Kapil Sibal has said he will seek clearance on the contents of the Act from a group of ministers.

The Act will be in accordance with the National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2011 that is expected to come into effect by the end of the year. DoT is in the process of finalising NTP with a stated deadline of September this year.