PD Vagehla to replace RS Sharma as TRAI chairperson

PD Vagehla to replace RS Sharma as TRAI chairperson

The former dept of pharmaceuticals secretary will serve a term of three years


MUMBAI: The speculation about who is going to head the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has finally ended.

When chairman Ram Sewak Sharma’s term ends on the night of 30 September, into his shoes will step PD Vaghela a 1986-batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer.

His appointment today was approved by the appointments committee of the cabinet. Vaghela is currently the secretary of the department of pharmaceuticals. And his appointment to the TRAI is for three years or until he attains the age of 65. Prior to the pharmaceutical posting, Vaghela was the commissioner of commercial taxes and he is believed to have played an important role in the rolling out of the goods and entertainment tax in 2017. 

Vaghela's  predecessor RS Sharma held his position for five years. The normal term is three years, and Sharma's tenure ended in August 2018, but he was given a two-year extension which is a rarity. During his stint, Sharma saw intense compeition in the telecom sector, with Jio playing price warrior, and emerging as the largest mobile operator in the country, leaving Airtel and Vodafone-Idea far behind.  

Vaghela’s immediate challenge as far as the broadcast sector is concerned is dealing with NTO 2.0 which the industry has been opposing rather vehemently saying it is impacting them  extremely negatively.