IMG proposals on telecom to be placed before Cabinet soon: Manoj Sinha

Published On: 12, Dec 2017 | Source: moneycontrol.com

The recommendations of inter-ministerial group (IMG) on relief measures for the telecom sector are expected to be placed before the Cabinet by month end, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday.

The Telecom Commission will consider the proposals of IMG at its upcoming meeting on December 21, Sinha told reporters here.

He was speaking on the sidelines of Asean India connectivity summit organised by CII.

"The Telecom Commission is meeting on December 21. Decision has already been taken on some of the aspects...the rest will happen on December 21," he said.

Asked about the timeframe for placing the recommendations before the Cabinet, he said "I hope that will happen by month end".

IMG has proposed extending the time period for the payment of spectrum bought in auctions by telcos to 16 years from the current 10 years, besides suggesting lowering the interest rate charged for penalties imposed on service providers.

The Telecom Commission had sought a legal opinion on some of the points it approved at its previous meeting in September-end before firming up its final view.

The panel had also sought views of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on IMG's proposal to relax spectrum cap as it would provide exit path to loss-making mobile service providers and ease consolidation in the sector.

Trai, last month, recommended that the ceiling on spectrum held by mobile operators within a particular band should be removed, while suggesting a 50 per cent cap on combined radiowave holding in efficient bands like 700 MHz, 800 MHz and 900 MHz.