‘Telecom ministry not bound to follow regulator’s advice on policy issues’

The telecom ministry is not duty-bound to follow the industry regulator’s advice on policy issues, the solicitor general has said, fuelling concerns that roles of regulators are increasingly getting diluted under this government.

Solicitor general Gopal Subramanium has said the ministry can change the terms and conditions of existing licences and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) recommendations are not binding on the government. The opinion comes after the department of telecommunications sought a legal view following the regulator’s letter that it must be consulted on uniform licence fee