NEW DELHI: The communications ministry will soon seek approval from the Union Cabinet for granting more powers to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai ) and enabling the watchdog to act like a civil court.
The move will bring thetelecom regulator on equal footing with other supervisory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Board of India ( SEBI) and the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and allow it to penalise mobile phone companies. The telecom department, in its cabinet note that was reviewed by ET, has also sought to empower Trai to conduct periodic spectrum audits on mobile phone companies.
Following cabinet clearance, the telecom regulator will be able to summon persons, examine them on oath, demand documents and evidence on affidavits, and, in appropriate cases, call for expert assistance in conducting inquiries. ET had first reported last year that Trai was set to get more powers to act as a civil court.
“Trai needs to be functionally and administratively strengthened to enable it to discharge its responsibilities in a fast changing telecom sector. It has also been felt that spectrum being a valuable resource and with new business models centered around spectrum sharing being contemplated, Trai must be entrusted with the responsibility of periodical audit of spectrum usage. Recognising the need for protection of consumer rights and providing avenues for grievance redressal. Trai is also proposed to be vested with powers to lay down a framework for consumer grievance redressal to be followed by telecom service providers. It is proposed to transfer certain implementation functions such as allocation of numbering resources to Trai,” the cabinet note said.
Source-Times Of india