Govt. mulling new super regulator

3 Sep 2014

India’s government is considering replacing the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) with a new ‘super regulator,’ the Communications Commission, to oversee the communications sector, CNBC TV-18 reports, citing unnamed sources. A new Communications Bill would remove older legislation, including the Telegraph Act and TRAI Act, and would do away with the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT). The new watchdog would consist of six members – each with a five-year tenure –including a chairman and members representing telecommunications, broadcasting, finance, management, accountancy and either law or consumer affairs. Meanwhile, the TDSAT would be replaced by the Communications Appellate Tribunal which will have the power to oversee the resolution of disputes and will be made up of three members. In terms of jurisdiction, the Commission would retain the functions of the TRAI, with powers to deal with matters currently handled by other authorities, including the Censor Board, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the Ministry of Environment and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The bill is currently being finalised and could be introduced to parliament as soon as the winter session, CNBC TV-18 noted.