The newly appointed Trai Chairman Rahul Khullar today said he faced an "onerous responsibility" in his new assignment as the government prepares to come out with a new telecom policy after a gap of 13 years.
"It is an onerous responsibility. I hope I would be able to make a good job of it," Khullar, the former Commerce Secretary, told reporters after assuming office.
Though refusing to comment on his priorities, Khullar takes over at a time when the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is facing criticism from the telecom industry over recommendations made by it on spectrum, new licences and manufacturing related issues.
Telecom operators have also expressed concern that the implementation of many of the Trai recommendations would make it difficult for foreign investors like Telenor (JV partner in Uninor) to continue business in India.
The new Trai Chairman will also have to undertake various consultation process for smooth implementation of the national telecom policy, 2012, which envisages allowing consumers to retain their number across the country without having to pay roaming charges.
Khullar, a 1975 batch IAS officer of Delhi cadre, succeeds J S Sarma, and his tenure will be for three years.
The tenure of Khullar, who was due to retire in April next year, will be till May, 2015.
In his earlier assignment as Commerce Secretary, Khullar is credited with trade normalisation between India and Pakistan. He had been successful in implementing measures that helped Indian exports cross $300-billion mark in 2011-12.
He has also played a role in India successfully negotiating its stance at WTO and various other multilateral pacts.