TC worried over sector's health; cautions about loan defaults
Telecom Commission, the highest policy making body of the sector, has warned of a loan default by operators and asked regulator TRAI to revisit its tariff orders and free promotional offers of firms like Reliance Jio.
The then Telecom Secretary J S Deepak, who headed the Telecom Commission, on February 23 wrote to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Chairman R S Sharma about the "serious impact" of the promotional offers on the financial health of the sector and the capability of the companies to meet their contractual commitments, including payment of instalments for spectrum purchased, and repayment of loans.
Days after writing the letter, which found way into the media, Deepak left for Barcelona to attend the Mobile World Congress (MWC). And while he was in Barcelona, the government issued an order appointing him India's permanent representative to the World Trade Organisation with effect from June 1, 2017 but asked him to immediately move as OSD in the Commerce Ministry.
Incidentally, Deepak, a 1982 batch IAS Officer from Uttar Pradesh, had during the first stint at the DoT as joint secretary from April 2008 to July 2010 had helped administer and popularise the e-auction method for the 3G spectrum auctions. In the May-June 2010 auctions, Infotel Broadband Services Pvt Ltd had outbid incumbents Airtel, Vodafone and Idea to bag all-India BWA (broadband wireless access) spectrum. The firm was within hours of it winning the spectrum was acquired by Reliance.
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