New spectrum policy being finalised

New Delhi, Aug 3 | Updated: Aug 4 2005, 05:40am hrs
The government is working on a new spectrum policy to make spectrum available for wireless services including Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, 3G and beyond 3G technologies, Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.

In a written reply to a question, minister of state for communications and IT Shakeel Ahmad said to improve existing wireless technology in the country, wireless technology was being upgraded to 3G and government was working on a new spectrum policy.

To another question, the minister said OneIndia call rate was at an initial stage and it was too early to determine its impact on access deficit charge or on revenues of BSNL or MTNL.

Rel tops pvt operators

Reliance occupies the top place among private operators with maximum number of phone connections at over 1.33 crore, communication and IT minister Dayanidhi Maran informed the House on Wednesday. Of the total 10.33 crore phones, private sector has provided about 5.05 crore phones (48.93%), with Reliance on top followed by Bharti group at 1.23 crore phone connections, he said.

Coal pilferage cases

In a bid to check pilferage, the government has started supplying crushed coal from the mines and has handed over several cases to CBI for investigation and action, the House was informed. Maintaining that the pilferage took place at various levels, minister of state for coal Dasari Narayana Rao said that the coal mafia with money and muscle power colluded with a section of workers to steal coal.

National postal policy

The government is formulating a national postal policy and has initiated a major exercise to review the structure, products, processes, resources, accounting, pricing and technology requirements, the Lower House was informed on Wednesday. Government is currently engaged in the process of updating the provisions of Indian Post Office Act to make it more relevant and empower the postal services board, Mr Ahmad said.

To another question, he said Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd was proposing to manufacture CDMA fixed wireless terminals and handsets at Kolkata or Jabalpur or Mumbai through a joint venture company.

Ban on non-iodised salt

Members in the Lower House have expressed concern over governments move to ban the sale of non-iodised salt from August 15 this year saying the move would hit hard lakhs of workers and manufacturers of salt in unorganised sector.

Central relief for Mumbai

Highlighting the plight of people in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra hit by the unprecedented rains, MPs have demanded immediate relief of Rs 10,000 crore to the state from the Centre. Raising the issue during zero hour, former Union minister Suresh Prabhu, Shiv Sena, said there was no governance in Mumbai and the commercial capital was without power, water and other basic needs.