Indian information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj again resorted to some political speak yesterday on the convergence bill. She said that she was not aware that the Group of Ministers (GoM) was supposed to meet to discuss the Fali Nariman redraft of the earlier convergence draft.
Earlier she and information technology minister Pramod Mahajan had insisted that the GoM was to meet on 21 December. Later they could not do so because they were too busy to meet because of the pressures of Parliament, reports indicated.
Swaraj said that the Bill was very much a priority with the government and it would take efforts to get it into shape. She added that hardly one per cent of convergence had happened in India, so there was no point in saying that the regulation accompanying it has been delayed.
The group of ministers had earlier hurled the convergence bill ball back at Nariman to clarify the role of the spectrum manager, the name of the bill, and specify which ministry should play the steering role for convergence, among other issues. The IT,telecom and I&B ministry have all been jostling with each other take up that role.
The bottomline of Swaraj's statements is that the convergence draft will take some more time to see the light of day before being shaped as a bill. Following this it will be posted onto the Net for people's views. It will be placed before a parliamentary subcommittee before being introduced in parliament for enactment. The net is that, it is quite likely that it may scrape through in the budget session of Parliament, if things pan out. Or the industry will have to wait for the monsoon session.
Keep those fingers crossed!!!!