October 3, 2022
Telecom Bill to provide roadmap for industry restructuring, innovation, says IT minister Ashwini Vaishnav

Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnav on Thursday said the new Telecom Bill will provide a clear roadmap for restructuring the industry and promoting innovation.

Speaking at an event of the Public Affairs Forum of India, the minister said that in the next one-and-a-half to two years, the government should be able to completely revise the entire digital regulatory framework, aimed at balancing social objectives, Duties and rights of individuals, and technology agnostic framework.

“The industry goes through different phases. Sometimes because of the business environment, technology changes and many other factors. Restructuring is needed. How do you bill it so that the industry has a very clear roadmap? If there is to be a restructuring If it happens, then these things have to be taken care of. These are the things that are my rights, so this bill has such a clear framework.”

He said the digital world needs comprehensive laws and the Prime Minister has targeted the Telecom Ministry that the regulatory framework of India’s digital legal framework should be benchmarked globally.

“It doesn’t mean that we just go around and copy what is best in the world. It means we aim to create a digital legal framework that the world should come and study. There is a much bigger purpose, but it is possible” said Vaishnav. As per the draft Telecom Bill 2022, top players like WhatsApp, Zoom and Google Duo – which provide calling and messaging services – may need a license to operate in the country.

OTT has been included as part of telecom service in the draft bill. The government has proposed a provision to waive off fees and penalties of telecom and internet service providers in the bill.

The ministry has also proposed a provision for refund of fees in case a telecom or internet provider surrenders its license.

Vaishnav said the next 25 years would be a period of inclusive growth and investment would be the primary tool of growth and the focus would be on manufacturing, innovation, simplification of rules and reforms in social infrastructure such as education and health.

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