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Competitive tariffs priority: Trai
March 24, 2003 14:28 IST
The ongoing litigations and controversies in telecom sector notwithstanding, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman Pradip Baijal on Monday said the regulator would work towards reducing the differences among telecom operators while ensuring competitive tariffs along with service quality.
Terming telecom as a "complex sector", Baijal said that given the situation, it was natural to have differences, and the role of the telecom regulator was to find the best path forward.
"The Telecom Regulatory Act clearly defines the role of the regulator, that there should be a level playing field, competition and the sector should grow. I will work on these parameters as a priority," Baijal, who took over as the new Trai chairman recently, told reporters in New Delhi.
Stating that competition in the telecom sector had benefited consumers in domestic and international long distance services, Baijal said, "The regulator should enforce competitive tariffs consistent with service quality, and that is the direction in which we will move."
Asked about his perception on whether Trai had adequate powers to ensure compliance to regulations, Baijal said it was key to holding intense consultations with the government so that the consumers would benefit.
On the policy related controversies in the sector such as limited mobility, Baijal said he was currently studying the various issues. "If such issues come up before Trai in the next one to two months, we will look at it," he said.
He said the Trai Act was clear in defining the role of the regulator that growth in the sector should be ensured.
"All the policies would be evolved keeping in mind that there should be overall growth in the sector, be it for basic or cellular industry," he said.
On the ongoing litigations in the sector, Baijal said "It is very natural to have number of litigations in any new area. But if we are careful we can reduce it."
He said a case in point was the litigation in the divestment sector which had seen Bharat Aluminum Company Ltd related petitions.
"In divestment there were 40 petitions, of which about 28 were ruled in our favour," he said adding he would attempt to work in a way that the litigations could be reduced although it was also for the industry to work in this direction.
"We should not be unduly worried on litigation issues.
When a case goes to High Court or Supreme court, it becomes a case law, and then everyone has to work within the parameters of the case law," he said.
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