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India names Rahul Khullar next chairman of TRAI

15 мая 2012

 India has named Rahul Khullar the next chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, a government official said Monday.

Khullar, currently the federal trade secretary, will succeed J.S. Sarma, who retired Sunday, the official told Dow Jones Newswires, asking not to be identified. Khullar's appointment will be for three years and the order is effective immediately.

Khullar wasn't immediately available for comment.

Khullar would be the first non-telecom bureaucrat to lead the telecom regulatory body in the past decade. His appointment comes at a time when the telecom industry--once the beacon of the country's economic growth--has lost its sheen because of corruption allegations and regulatory uncertainty.

A former minister, who had overseen the allotment of telecom licenses and bandwidth in 2008, is in jail facing trial for the alleged irregularities, including selling bandwidth at low rates.

The Supreme Court of India has since ordered the cancellation of the 122 telecom licenses given in 2008 and ordered fresh auctions by Aug. 31.

Khullar's challenges in his new role include clearing the regulatory obstacles in the sector.

The regulator has already come under criticism from the industry for its proposals of a starting auction price which is several times higher than what operators pay now. Industry players have also criticized a proposal to take back bandwidth and allot spectrum in some other band, saying they would have to write off at least INR1.2 trillion ($22.4 billion) for the transition.

Источник: Total Telecom

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