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GoM refers convergence bill to sub-group for re-drafting

07-December-2000
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GoM refers convergence bill to sub-group for re-drafting

Speaking to reporters on emerging from the meeting, Information and Broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj said, the GoM would meet again on December 21 to give its final word on the bill. The GoM, headed by finance minister Yashwant Sinha, seems to have reached a large consensus on the bill and top sources insist that there are no major changes.

Indications are that some fine tuning would be required concerning the post of spectrum manager, name of the bill, as well as some detailing on the right way — whether laying of network should be left to the network owners or the property owners.

The issue of the spectrum manager is likely to be resolved by having a single person as the legal entity (like the wireless advisor who already exists) which is guided by a high-level committee, sources said.

As for the name of the Bill — the proposed name is Communications Bill 2000 — it is likely to incorporate the word convergence or something to denote the same.

The bill, as proposed by Nariman, envisages the setting up of a Communications Commission of India vested with the powers to grant licences, manage spectrum, resolve disputes, as well as determine the conditions for fair, equitable and non-discriminatory access to network facility and service. It would also have the powers as vested in a civil court under the Court of Civil Procedure, 1908.

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