News Roundup: TRAI retains high spectrum price, Govt to set up electronic development fund for IT sector

Rahul Khullar to be new TRAI Chairman

Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar has been appointed as the new chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for a three-year term. Khullar, a 1975 batch IAS officer of Delhi cadre, will succeed J S Sarma, whose tenure ended today. The tenure of Khullar, who was due to retire in April next year, will be till May, 2015.

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TRAI retains high spectrum price, single auction for all

In its response to Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Spectrum auction proposals, TRAI said that its analysis shows that recommendations do not adversely impact the profitability of the wireless industry or the entry of new operators nor do they adversely affect the affordability of the consumer.

“The results indicate that mostly, the impact on tariff is less than 4 paise per minute and often much lower. This can be either absorbed by the service providers from the additional minutes that are generated or recovered through charges for different retail and wholesale service,” TRAI said. [source: 1/2]

CCI asks Motion Pictures to dispense with anti-competitive rules

The Competition Commission of India has upheld UTV Software Communications’ claim that the Motion Pictures Association, Delhi, has abused its dominant position by imposing unreasonable conditions that limit production, supply, distribution and exhibition of films in the areas of its operation.

The rules of MPA and other associations restrict their members not to deal with non-members, making compulsory the registration of each film before release in their territories [source]

2G spectrum auction: CDMA lobby asks Kapil Sibal to ignore pricing panel report

Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India or Auspi, that represents companies like Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices and Sistema Shyam, has written to Sibal that targeting dual-technology operators to pay up for spectrum at a market-determined price would be ‘illegal and contrary to the policies of the level-playing field’ in a communication to the minister last week [source]

Govt to set up electronic development fund for IT sector

“Under the draft National Policy on Electronics 2011, an Electronic Development Fund has been proposed to promote innovation and research and development (R&D) in the IT sector by providing appropriate funding or incentives to industry and R&D institutions,” Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot informed the Lok Sabha.

The draft policy also proposes providing incentives for setting up of over 200 Electronic Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs). The support is extended to greenfield or new EMCs and upgradation of brownfield EMCs.[source]