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Telecom Policy In 2 Weeks: Nk Singh


The Prime Minister's office secretary N K Singh yesterday said the taskforce on telecommunication would be ready with the draft on telecom policy which would follow the Australian model, within a fortnight.

"Realising the need for convergence of technology, the telecom policy would also take into account the spectrum bandwidth and its auctioning to the highest bidder," Singh said.

Speaking at the inauguration of the 29th meeting of India-Japan Joint Business Cooperation Committee, Singh said the government through its various infrastructure taskforces would also look into the autonomy granted to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and evolve an "international and top quality telecom policy," including, the licensing structure for cellular and basic operators.

He deftly side-stepped the Japanese ambassador Hiroshi Hirabayashi's remark that the reduction of the 8 per cent special additional duty to 4 per cent was a "swadeshi move".

While delivering the keynote address, Singh said the enabling framework for 100 per cent foreign direct investment in airports and roads would be finalised soon, especially the identification of 5-6 international airports and asked the Japanese consortium to look into investments in these sectors. He said the message from the joint business meetings should be "business as unusual" with a new breed of aggressiveness being shown by Japanese and Indian businessmen.

He further told the potential investors not to get carried away by the political developments. "The government is taking steps to depoliticise the agenda of economic change which, in fact, had been started by the Congress government under Manmohan Singh," Singh said.

Calling for Indo-Japanese cooperation in evolving a global financial architecture, the former revenue secretary said there should be constructive dialogue between businessmen of both the countries. "The Indian macro-economic fundamentals are strong, perhaps barring the burgeoning fiscal deficit," Singh added.

First Published: Tue, December 01 1998. 00:00 IST