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