GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
STARRED QUESTION NO. 65
TO BE ANSWERED ON 25th FEBRUARY, 2011
GRANT OF UASL
*65 SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:
Will the Minister of COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state:
(a) Whether it is a fact that two letters were written by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) dated 14 November, 2003 and 19 November, 2003 with regard to the grant of Unified Access Service Licenses (UASL);
(b) If so, the details of these letters and what action was taken pursuant to these letters; and
(c) Whether such letters regarding TRAI recommendations and guidelines can be written and be held legally valid and acted upon, if written after the issuance of UASL guidelines on 11 November, 2003, given that TRAI’s role is limited to making recommendations?
THE MINISTER OF HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS
AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
(SHRI KAPIL SIBAL)
(a) To (c ) A statement is laid on the Table of the House.
STATEMENT TO BE LAID ON THE TABLE OF THE RAJYA SABHA IN RESPECT OF PARTS (a) TO (c ) OF THE RAJYA SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. 65 FOR 25th FEBRUARY, 2011 REGARDING “ GRANT OF UASL”.
(a) To (c ) Sir, with regard to the grant of Unified Access Service (UAS) Licenses, two letters dated 14 November, 2003 and 19 November, 2003 were written by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Copy of both the letters are enclosed at Annexure- I and Annexure- II. The said letter dated 14.11.2003 of TRAI were taken into consideration by the Government while approving the Letters of Intent (LoIs) on 24.11.2003 which inter- alia, indicated the amount of requisite entry fee for grant of new UAS licenses.
TRAI has informed that no file number has been mentioned on the letter dated 14.11.2003 and it seems that this letter was written directly by the then Chairman, TRAI, as no records have been found. However, a copy of the letter was enclosed with TRAI’s letter no. 101-35/2003-MN dated 19th November, 2003. In addition, the Authority in its meeting held on 24th November 2003 and continued on 3rd December 2003 took note of the decisions taken during informal meetings or on files and approved them.
The Report of Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) on “Issue of Licences and Allocation of 2G Spectrum by the Department of Telecommunications” which was laid on the Table of the House on 16.11.2010 and the report dated 31.01.2011 of the One Man Committee (OMC) under Justice (Retd) Shivraj V Patil have observed that the procedure adopted to grant new UAS licences at the entry fee of price determined for the 4th CMTS licence in 2001 was not in line with the TRAI’s recommendations dated 27.10.2003/ Cabinet Decision dated 31.10.2003.
The relevant extract of the Report of CAG and the Report of the OMC are enclosed at Annexure- III.