NEW DELHI : The government may bring in a new telecom policy in less than a year's time in sync with "rapid technological advancement" that would address issues pertaining to consumers interests and security and also encourage innovation. The Department of Telecom is already working on a new National Telecom Policy and the draft policy would be ready by this financial year end, Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha informed Rajya Sabha on Friday.
"The Department of Telecom envisages to formulate a new National Telecom Policy in view of rapid technological advancement in the sector. The draft policy is likely to be ready by the end of this financial year," Sinha said in a written reply to a question by members.
Although the Minister did not disclose the details of the policy saying it is at a "very nascent stage", he underlined that the new policy would include in its ambit aspects of technology innovation, security and consumers' interests.
"As the process of formulation of the aforesaid policy is at a very nascent stage, the exact provisions of the policy cannot be indicated at present. However, the new National Telecom Policy may include areas of technology innovation, security and protecting the interests of consumers," he said.
In a separate reply to the issue of predatory pricing and jostling between various telecom service providers which blame each other for disruptive pricing, the Minister said the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has already initiated a consultation process in February this year and would give a report in six to eight months.
"In order to identify and address the various emergent issues and challenges related to regulatory principles of tariff assessment such as transparency, promotional offers, disclosures and non-discrimination, adherence to the principle of non-predatory pricing, meaning of predatory pricing, relevant market, assessment of dominant position etc., TRAI has initiated a consultation process by releasing a consultation paper to solicit comments from the stakeholders," Sinha said.
"A consultation process in TRAI typically, takes about six to eight months time to conclude. Appropriate view would be taken by TRAI after conclusion of the consultation process," he said.