Finance minister P Chidambaram has rejected the Telecom
Regulatory Authority's request for an independent source
of funds. Currently, the TRAI gets Rs10 crore from the
government every year, barely enough to cover its costs.
fact, 40 out of the 150 executive posts in the TRAI haven't
been filled and the salaries are also very low. Accordingly,
TRAI had proposed that a portion of the licence fees that
the government gets from telecom companies be kept aside
to fund it.
say that it's of utmost importance that there be an independent
telecom regulator especially since the government is itself
operating in the telecom space through its state owned
telecom companies BSNL and MTNL. They say that the regulator
should not just be independent but should also be perceived
to be independent.