Merger and Acquisition Policy for Telecom by mid-October: Sibal


NEW DELHI: The government hopes to announce its merger and acquisition policy for telecom companies by mid-October.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said he had wanted them to in place by the middle of September but this had not been possible.

Speaking at the Indian Women's Press Corps, he said the Department of Telecom has plans to meet industry representatives before releasing the final guidelines.

Meanwhile, Sibal said his top priority was to get 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 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 a banking licence. The approval of banking licence by the Reserve bank of India is expected to triple bank branches in the country.

The Minister wants to ensure that the "next auction is not just successful but phenomenally successful".

For the financial year 2013-14, government expects 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 that his ministry is working on a policy framework for Optical Fibre Network under which 250,000 village panchayats in the country will get connected by 2014. He wants to move the fibre optics policy framework as quickly as possible so that 600 universities and 3,500 colleges can also be connected with dedicated national knowledge network.

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