20 October, 2020

Uncertain Future

Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater

Uncertain Future

SANCHAR Bhawan, which houses the Communications Ministry, is abuzz with overseas calls from top executives of global telecom majors, foreign banks and financial institutions apprehensive about the future of telecom privatisation. But ministry officials are able to do little to reassure the anxious callers because they themselves are clueless whether privatisation will be spiked altogether or drastically reviewed.

 "We are having a hard time explaining to our foreign partners that the Sukh Ram case will not hit telecom privatisation," says the chief executive of an Indian telecom firm. "Of course, we too are concerned. God knows what's in store for us." There are enough MPs already demanding the scrapping of all telecom licences or letters of intent (LOIs) issued during Sukh Ram's tenure as communications minister.

 Even former Telecom Commission chairman R.K. Takkar has been flooded with calls from jittery telecom companies. "Any move to scrap licences given to cellular service providers or taking back LOIs issued in the 10 basic...



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