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    Default Telecom mergers and acquisition policy likely by Oct 15

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    Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal


    Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has said the long-awaited merger and acquisition policy for telecom companies is expected to be in place by October 15.

    "M&A guidelines... in fact I wanted them to be in place by 15th of September but could not be done. I want to commit that these must be done by October 15," Sibal said during his interaction at Indian Women's Press Corps here.

    Telecom operators have been waiting for long to see the final guidelines of M&A.

    The Department of Telecom has plans to meet the industry leaders before releasing the final guidelines. The department had also scheduled a meeting early this week but for some unknown reasons it was deferred.

    Talking about his immediate priorities at Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Sibal said his top priority is getting Post Banks started in rural area.

    "Something that is very close to my heart is to get post bank in place for rural India. All my post offices should also function as banks. I think we will be able to serve the rural economy and rural folk much better," Sibal said.

    The Department of Posts has applied for banking licence. The approval of banking licence for DoP by Reserve bank of India is expected to about triple bank branches in the country.

    Sibal said his second priority is to ensure that "next auction is not just successful but phenomenally successful... We should get lot of competition and therefore lot of kitty ... revenue target should be substantial enough to help the finance minister."

    For the financial year 2013-14, government expects a revenue of Rs 40,847.05 crore from other communication services, which include receipt from spectrum sale and one-time spectrum fee levied on old players for holding airwaves frequencies in addition to quantum they were allocated with licences.

    Sibal said his ministry is working on a policy framework for Optical fibre network under which government plans to connect 2.5 lakh village panchayats in the country.

    He said his third priority "is to move the fibre optics policy framework as quickly as possible so that we can 2.5 lakh villages by 2014 and also connect 600 universities and 3,500 colleges with dedicated national knowledge network, That process is on but I want that to be completed by 2014."

 

 

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