TELECOMMUNICATIONS minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday said the government will continue to be tough on service quality and telecom companies will need to further strengthen voice quality and improve infrastructure.
Speaking at the AGM of Ficci, the minister said if regulators and the government insist that telecom companies have to provide certain quality of services, then they need to oblige. “While I applaud telecom operators for spreading mobile services in the nook and corner of the country, I am equally concerned that quality of service must be maintained. I will do a lot of tough talking to make them understand the problem. Now, they are responding,” Prasad said. “Lots of initiatives they are taking. I will continue to be tough. That’s an obligation they (telecom operators) have to perform,” Prasad added.
The telecom minister had repeatedly been saying that he would not like to be called as a ‘call drop minister’. Call drop incidents this year has been extremely high forcing the government and the regulator, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), going tough on telecom companies. The minister defended Trai when one of the industry representatives suggested that the regulator should not be a controller. Telecom companies had recently put up a legal challenge to the norms laid down by Trai that mandated service providers to compensate users Re 1 for up to three call drops a day from January 1, 2016.
“If the regulator or the department insists on a particular quality of service, you cannot escape that obligation by pointing fingers. If service quality is good, I am the first person to stand with them,” Prasad said. However, he agreed that regulators must understand that regulation and development must be properly blended.
On postal department, Prasad said he was keen to push India Post in the banking scenario. “There was a lot of opposition, but we pushed for it and the RBI has given in-principle approval,” Prasad said.