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|March 19, 1999
Jagmohan sticks to his guns on tariff revision issueCommunications Minister Jagmohan said today that while the government wants a strong regulator in the telecom sector, it would not like the regulator to ignore the wishes of the Parliament or be unjust to the common man.
''A regulator cannot be a super government or a super Parliament,'' he told the fifth annual conference of the PTC India Foundation in New Delhi where he was the chief guest.
The TRAI has sought to benefit the rich and ignore the poor and the low-income group, going against the unanimous recommendations of Parliament, Jagmohan claimed.
The government, he repeated, wants a strong and independent regulator, but it has to function "within the system" determined by Parliament and adopt a balanced approach.
Accusing the private service providers of not fulfilling contractual obligations, he said they have undermined the process of reform in the telecom sector. He called upon the service providers to fulfil their obligations.
The minister revealed that the companies who had concluded an agreement with the government have not fulfilled the obligation of providing telephone in the rural areas and the government had to come forward to fill in the gap.
Jagmohan said the service providers must pay up their licence fees. They want the rules of the game changed because they are losing, he observed, referring to the defaulter companies.
The minister clarified that DoT is not for monopoly. Actually, it has opened up, allowing entry of the private sector. But the private service providers must fulfil their obligations or they will bring a bad name to the process of reforms, he warned.
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