The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology on Sunday committed to review the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 (TRAI) and revealed that the government is presently “examining a comprehensive legislative proposal to review and harmonise the legal framework”.
This came after MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar raised a question in Parliament regarding government’s action after a recent Supreme Court’s judgment on call srops that struck down the TRAI’s One Rupee per dropped call penalty on errant telcos.
Chandrasekhar made a pointed inquiry of the government if it had taken note of the SC observations regarding TRAI’s powers and working, and the action the government proposed to take to correct this.
MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar plans to submit a petition to Rajya Sabha committee on petition next week which will call for some amendments to the TRAI Act. The key points in his petition are
1) Empower TRAI so that it can may regulate and effectively enforce consumer rights;
2) Ensure a greater degree of accountability to Parliament
3) Enhancing TRAI’s capacity and capability by providing unfettered access to talent and human resources from both, the government and private sector
4) TRAI’s financial autonomy and independence should be ensured by giving a share in the Union Budget.
The commitment by government given in Parliament to review TRAI Act comes ahead of Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha first meeting with CEOs of mobile service providers on Monday, 25 July to discuss industry issues in general and call drops in particular.
Chandrasekhar has since early 2007 persistently called for the reform of the TRAI, stating consistently that a robust regulator was a pre-requisite for the orderly growth of the sector, and for the Digital India vision to be realised.