Govt mulls setting up new regulator for communications sector

The Modi Govt is planning to set up a new 'super regulator' for the communications sector that could replace the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 3, 2014 7:54 AM
Govt mulls setting up new regulator for communications sector

The Modi Government is planning to set up a new ‘super regulator’ for the communications sector. As per a report by CNBC TV-18, this regulator is slated to be christened Communications Commission and could replace the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Media reports further stated that the Communications Commission will have all the functions and powers of TRAI, along with all the powers that other regulators the Censor Board enjoy, some clearances that the Ministry of Environment gives out, the Competition Commission of India and the Department of Telecommunications.

This apart, the Government has also proposed a Communications Bill, which is slated to replace all old and redundant legislations, which include the Telegraph Act and TRAI Act.

The CNBC TV-18 report further said that the Communications Bill also seeks to replace Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) with a new appellate body called the Communications Appellate Tribunal, which will have three members and a Chairman. According to sources, this tribunal will also have the power to oversee dispute resolution.

MUMBAI: In a radical move, the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is considering setting up a new super regulator for the communications sector by doing away with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the regulator for the telecom and broadcasting sector.

To be named the Communications Commission and vested with all the functions and powers of TRAI, the regulator will have all the powers that other regulators like the Censor Board enjoy besides some clearances that the Ministry of Environment provides the Competition Commission of India and the Department of Telecommunications, according to a report by CNBC TV-18.

Quoting unnamed sources, the report says that the telecom and broadcast sector tribunal Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) may also get replaced by a Communications Appellate Tribunal.

Furthermore, the government plans to bring a Communications Bill that will replace existing laws that include the India Telegraph Act and TRAI Act.

The report added that the Communications Bill proposes a six-member regulator and a chairman with a five-year tenure. The members will come from sectors like telecom, broadcasting, finance, management, accountancy, and either law or consumer affairs.

Under the current set-up, the TRAI has a chairman with a three-year term besides two whole-time and two part-time members.


After the scrapping of Planning Commission, it could well be turn for the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. The Modi government is planning a new “super regulator" for the communications sector. To be called Communications Commission, the new body could replace TRAI, sources told CNBC-TV18.

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) may also get replaced by Communications Appellate Tribunal, sources add.

The Communications Bill seeks to replace all old and redundant legislations which include the Telegraph Act and TRAI Act. As far the constitution of the new body is concerned, the Bill proposes a 6-member regulator with one Chairman, who will have 5-year tenure. The member will include one each from sectors like telecom, broadcasting, finance, management, accountancy and either law or consumer affairs.

Moreover, the bill also seeks to replace TDSAT with a new appellate body called the Communications Appellate Tribunal, which will have 3 members and a Chairman. According to sources, this tribunal will also have the power to oversee dispute resolution.

How different it would be?

The Communication Commission will be the over arching regulator. It will retain the functions and the powers TRAI enjoys, but will also meddle with affairs of some of the other regulators such as the Censor Board, some clearances that the Ministry Of Environment gives out, the Competition Commission of India and the Department of Telecommunications.

 

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