AS­SOCHAM urges Govt. to re­ject TRAIs pro­posal to per­mit in­ter­net play­ers to op­er­ate without li­cence fee

Business Sphere - - ASSO CHAM - By Our Correspondent

TRAIs rec­om­men­da­tion to per­mit sale of in­ter­net ser­vices without a li­cence and li­cence fee and other statu­tory levies is highly dis­rup­tive in na­ture and would wreck a huge in­vest­ment made in the tele­com sec­tor, the AS­SOCHAM has said, im­press­ing upon the gov­ern­ment to re­ject the ill-ad­vised move of the reg­u­la­tor. In a let­ter to the Tele­com Sec­re­tary Ms Aruna Sun­darara­jan, AS­SOCHAM Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Mr D S Rawat said that the TRAI rec­om­men­da­tion that the In­ter­net Ser­vices should be sold un­der a regis­tra­tion, in­stead of a li­cence via Pub­lic Wi-Fi net­works, would mean there would be no li­a­bil­ity on the ser­vice provider to pay statu­tory charge, li­cense fee and com­pli­ance with any se­cu­rity con­di­tions. “We be­lieve that this rec­om­men­da­tion is com­pletely un­jus­ti­fi­able and un­war­ranted as this would lead to a se­ri­ous non-level play­ing field between li­censed and un­li­censed stake­hold­ers. Do­ing so will dis­rupt the en­tire li­cens­ing frame­work and af­fect the huge amount of in­vest­ment al­ready made in the tele­com in­fra­struc­ture. This will widely im­pact the tele­com sec­tor and may also pose a threat to the na­tional se­cu­rity by way of putting in­di­vid­ual data at risk of easy ac­cess,” the chamber said. “We sin­cerely hope that the DoT will con­sider (our) points fa­vor­ably and will re­ject the TRAI’s rec­om­men­da­tions on PDOAs. If at all, PDOAs need to be in­tro­duced then it should be done un­der a li­cens­ing frame­work only”, it stressed. Con­trary to the well-es­tab­lished li­cens­ing struc­ture, TRAI in its rec­om­men­da­tion has sug­gested that Pub­lic Data Of­fice Ag­gre­ga­tors (PDOAs) and Pub­lic Data Of­fice (PDOs) be al­lowed to pro­vide In­ter­net Ac­cess through Wi-Fi tech­nol­ogy without tak­ing a li­cense. Any such ser­vice will be in con­flict with the ex­ist­ing li­cens­ing frame­work. “More im­por­tantly, es­tab­lish­ing Pub­lic WiFi Net­works without li­cense, will be il­le­gal be­ing in vi­o­la­tion of In­dian Tele­graph Act, 1885”, the chamber let­ter to the Sec­re­tary , Tele­com , said. In­dus­try play­ers with a valid li­cense duly pay reg­u­la­tory levies and fol­low all reg­u­la­tory and se­cu­rity

com­pli­ance. If an un­li­censed en­tity starts pro­vid­ing th­ese ser­vices, it would lead to a mas­sive im­pact on the rev­enue of li­censed op­er­a­tors who are du­ti­fully fol­low­ing all the norms and guide­lines of the li­cens­ing frame­work. This will likely ren­der use­less the huge in­vest­ments made by li­censed op­er­a­tors in the tele­com eco sys­tem.

Delhi govt. schools get thumbs up from par­ents in NCR finds sur­vey

Schools in the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion (NCR) must em­u­late the model of Delhi gov­ern­ment in terms of mak­ing much-needed im­prove­ments to fa­cil­i­ties and teach­ing meth­ods em­ployed in Delhi’s gov­ern­ment schools, noted a par­ents’ sat­is­fac­tion sur­vey con­ducted by AS­SOCHAM un­der the aegis of its So­cial De­vel­op­ment Foun­da­tion. “State gov­ern­ments of Haryana, Ut­tar Pradesh (UP) and Ra­jasthan hav­ing thir­teen, seven and two dis­tricts that along with NCT of Delhi make up the NCR, must take a cue from Delhi gov­ern­ment and al­lo­cate large chunk of their bud­get to ed­u­ca­tion,” sug­gested many par­ents whose kids are study­ing in gov­ern­ment schools in NCR, ac­cord­ing to a ran­dom sur­vey con­ducted by AS­SOCHAM So­cial De­vel­op­ment Foun­da­tion (ASDF). The As­so­ci­ated Cham­bers of Com­merce and In­dus­try of In­dia (AS­SOCHAM) in­ter­acted through dig­i­tal me­dia and so­cial net­work­ing sites with about 3,250 par­ents in dis­tricts fall­ing in NCR (apart from NCT of Delhi) whose chil­dren are study­ing in lo­cal gov­ern­ment schools. The sur­vey was con­ducted dur­ing sum­mer hol­i­days in MayJune to as­cer­tain the views of peo­ple in gen­eral about their level of sat­is­fac­tion in gov­ern­ment schools of their re­spec­tive dis­tricts. Al­most all the par­ents were of the view that Delhi gov­ern­ment is do­ing a com­mend­able job for bring­ing over­all im­prove­ment in the school ed­u­ca­tion as every par­ent wants schools with good amount of fa­cil­i­ties in their own area. Many of them said that through var­i­ous me­dia re­ports and views of their rel­a­tives and known peo­ple they have learnt about Delhi gov­ern­ment model of schools that have un­der­gone a meta­mor­pho­sis of late. Things like over­hauled school in­fra­struc­ture in­clud­ing clean­li­ness main­tained in the premises, proper wa­ter and elec­tric­ity sup­ply, pro­vid­ing fa­cil­i­ties like au­di­to­rium, welle­quipped li­braries and lab­o­ra­to­ries, swim­ming pool, which were till now lim­ited to pol­icy pa­pers are be­ing made avail­able in Delhi schools. “We want our own state gov­ern­ments and district ad­min­is­tra­tions to pro­vide th­ese fa­cil­i­ties at least in NCR schools to match up to their coun­ter­parts in neigh­bor­hood Delhi.” Some of those in­ter­viewed said that their rel­a­tives in Delhi have ei­ther re­cently moved their chil­dren or are think­ing to get their wards ad­mit­ted to state-run schools in Delhi from pri­vate in­sti­tu­tions they are/were at­tend­ing. Re­leas­ing the find­ings of the chamber’s sur­vey, AS­SOCHAM’s sec­re­tary gen­eral, Mr D.S. Rawat said, “Lot is be­ing done in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor both at the Cen­tre and state gov­ern­ment lev­els in Delhi. With Delhi gov­ern­ment pro­vid­ing state-of-the-art fa­cil­i­ties, im­prov­ing in­fra­struc­ture and qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion, other state gov­ern­ments must fol­low suit to help shape a bright fu­ture for our chil­dren.” Apart from this, par­ents were also asked how sat­is­fied they were with var­i­ous as­pects of the school their child cur­rently at­tended, in­clud­ing the school over­all, the teach­ers, aca­demic stan­dards, or­der and dis­ci­pline, fa­cil­i­ties and the way the school staff in­ter­acted with par­ents. Ma­jor­ity of re­spon­dents in all the dis­tricts said there were many ar­eas that need to be im­proved. Some said that proac­tive ap­proach was needed to en­sure whole­some de­vel­op­ment of chil­dren i.e. equal fo­cus on ed­u­ca­tion and ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties, con­duct­ing classes in cre­ative writ­ing, dance, the­atre, fine arts and other such sub­jects by hir­ing spe­cial­ized teach­ers. Be­sides, many sug­gested that schools must work on a va­ri­ety of pa­ram­e­ters - se­cu­rity ap­pa­ra­tus, in­fra­struc­ture, de­vel­op­ing bet­ter learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment for chil­dren, small class

sizes, smart classes, bet­ter stu­dent­fac­ulty ra­tio, re­spon­sive teach­ers and ad­min­is­tra­tors, bet­ter dis­ci­pline and fre­quent par­ent-teacher in­ter­ac­tions, im­proved so­cial skills of chil­dren and other such fac­tors.

Hike in MSP for farm­ers crops makes good eco­nomics, for now: AS­SOCHAM

In­crease in Min­i­mum Sup­port Price (MSP) may be de­bated as a "good pol­i­tics but bad eco­nomics", but the AS­SOCHAM feels that bet­ter re­al­iza­tions for farm­ers' crops would leave more dis­pos­able in­come with them and would thus give a huge ru­ral de­mand push to the In­dian econ­omy, giv­ing a sig­nif­i­cant mul­ti­plier ef­fect for a large num­ber of sec­tors like FMCG, agri im­ple­ments, ir­ri­ga­tion equip­ment, two-wheel­ers and oth­ers. "The MSP may not be an ideal and a per­fect solution to ad­dress the farm­ers' woes, but the long term re­forms would take long time and our farm­ers can­not be al­lowed to suf­fer that long. The en­tire ru­ral land­scape con­sti­tutes about 70 per cent of our con­sumer bas­ket and un­less they have ad­e­quate pur­chas­ing power, the much -needed de­mand push for In­dia Inc would not ma­te­ri­al­ize," AS­SOCHAM Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Mr D S Rawat said. "So, given the cir­cum­stances that the In­dian agri­cul­ture is in at the present mo­ment, the gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion to hike MSP across a large num­ber of crops makes a good eco­nomic and good pol­i­tics as well. Re­forms in the agri­cul­ture sec­tor have re­mained a miss­ing link and would re­quire a GST like par­a­digm wherein our farm econ­omy is well in­te­grated amongst dif­fer­ent states," the AS­SOCHAM said. Mr Rawat said the con­cern over MSP in­crease lead­ing to in­fla­tion­ary pres­sure may well be ad­dressed by im­prov­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tive ma­chin­ery in the food grains and veg­etable man­dis, which are still un­der the clutches of car­tels. "The state gov­ern­ments have a key role in de­mol­ish­ing the Mandi car­tels which trig­ger a huge volatil­ity in agri prices, es­pe­cially those of fruits and veg­eta­bles. Un­less the agri com­modi­ties which con­sti­tute the food bas­ket in the Con­sumer Price In­dex sta­bi­lize, in­ter­ests of both the con­sumers and grow­ers would not be pro­tected. Abo­li­tion of the APMC Act in most states has re­mained a wish­ful think­ing. The AS­SOCHAM sug­gested set­ting up of a num­ber of pro­cure­ment and pro­cess­ing com­pa­nies in the Pub­lic, Pri­vate Part­ner­ship (PPP) which can act as a bridge between the farm­ers and the con­sumers which may even be B2B con­sumer. Large play­ers in the or­ga­nized re­tail should be en­cour­aged to reach out to farm­ers and work in part­ner­ship with them through con­tract farm­ing, which should not be a bad word. "Af­ter all, the en­tire sug­ar­cane econ­omy op­er­ates on con­tract farm­ing, but on a flawed model. Im­prov­ing on this model, con­tract farm­ing, en­abled by tech­nol­ogy would cer­tainly be a long term solution. "But for now, the MSP which should be ad­min­is­tered with an over­sight of top lead­er­ship is the im­me­di­ate solution for re­mov­ing farm­ers' dis­tress",

About AS­SOCHAM:

AS­SOCHAM ini­ti­ated its En­deav­our of value cre­ation for In­dian in­dus­try in 1920. It was es­tab­lished by pro­moter Cham­bers, rep­re­sent­ing all re­gions of In­dia. Hav­ing in its fold over 400 Cham­bers and Trade As­so­ci­a­tions, and serv­ing over 4.5 lakh mem­bers across In­dia. AS­SOCHAM has emerged as the foun­tain­head of Knowl­edge for In­dian in­dus­try, which is all set to re­de­fine the dy­nam­ics of growth and de­vel­op­ment in the Knowl­edge Based Econ­omy.

Prime Min­is­ter of In­dia Naren­dar Modi

Tele­com Sec­re­tary Ms. Aruna Sun­darara­jan

AS­SOCHAM Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Mr. D. S. Rawat

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