Study underway on defence ministry’s spectrum needs

March 13th, 2008 - 3:46 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) A technical study is underway on the defence ministry’s spectrum requirements before the balance is released for private telephony operators, parliament was informed Thursday. “We need to study how much the defence ministry needs. This technical study is going on. Before the report comes to us, we cannot say how much the defence ministry needs,” Communications Minister A. Raja said during question hour in the Rajya Sabha.

In this context, Raja’s deputy, Shakeel Ahmed, informed the house that a meeting to be called by National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan, who heads a committee that has been formed to resolve the issue, had been postponed.

“This meeting was to be held earlier this year. It has been postponed. It will take place in the near future. The committee will decide on how to proceed,” Ahmed added.

Raja, however, did not respond to a demand from Ravi Shankar Prasad (Bharatiya Janata Party) for laying down a timeline to conclude the exercise.

“TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has given its report. Time is of essence. This must be fixed,” Prasad maintained but the minister was unmoved.

Responding to a supplementary from Santosh Bagrodia (Congress), Raja denied there were any differences between the government and the TRAI on spectrum allocation.

“There is no confusion between the TRAI and the government,” Raja asserted.

“The TRAI recommendation was challenged by the Cellular Operators Association of India. The issue was then referred to the Technical Engineering Centre (of the Department of Telecommunications). Their report was also not accepted by Cellular Operators Association of India,” the minister pointed out.

“TRAI had recommended the minimum. TEC had recommended the maximum. We want to put an end to this (and resolve the issue),” Raja contended.

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