Convergence Bill consigned to Budget session - or even later?

Doesn't it seem a lot like deja vu? The Convergence Bill may finally not make its way to Parliament in the Winter session which is on currently. The group of ministers which is studying the Fali Nariman Committee recommendations and draft has not been able to decide on several issues. For starters, even on a meeting which needs attendance from all its members. Law minister Arun Jaitley, who has had a major say in a lot of policy making and is likely to continue to have a say, played truant earlier this week when he failed to turn up at one of the meetings.

The draft is additionally being reviewed by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci). Further the GOM's members are also supposed to give their consent to the various clauses. Following which it will be presented to Parliament and then to a select committee for a further review.

But there are many unresolved issuess like who will blow the convergence bugle - the ministries of information technology, broadcasting or telecom? Which ministry will be the guide for convergence? Which body will be the regulator, the ombudsman or watchdog? What time frame will be set aside for setting up the Watch dog?

Three-four years ago, similar issues had stalled the Broadcasting Bill. Wonder whether the current government is seeeking a repeat act for Convergence.


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