Farooqui takes charge as DoT Secretary

Senior IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre M F Farooqui Monday took charge as Telecom Secretary.

New Delhi: Senior IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre M F Farooqui Monday took charge as Telecom Secretary.

Prior to his new posting, Farooqui was Secretary in the Department of Heavy Industry.

Farooqui will have to deal with important issues such as rising tariffs, industry's opposition to implementing free roaming services, litigations including the matter of 3G inter-circle roaming pacts and levy of one-time spectrum fee on operators.

He replaces R Chandrashekhar who retired last Thursday.

A post-graduate in Physics and Business Administration, Farooqui will have a15-month tenure at the helm of the Department of Telecom before he attains superannuation age of 60 years in June 2014.

Farooqui is joining DoT at time when investors sentiment is hit by regulatory uncertainty. This is also reflected in a sharp decline in foreign investments. FDI in the sector plummeted by 96 percent to USD 70.46 million in April- November 2012 period from USD 1,987.18 million during the same period a year ago.

"I want sector to grow. We are poised for another round of growth," Farooqui told PTI.

Since 2010, most of the sectoral issues were embroiled in legal cases. The government now has the definite way of allocating spectrum through auction.

Farooqui's predecessor Chandrashekhar had to handle turbulent times in the sector and simultaneously work on new telecom policy to set roadmap for future investments.

Empowered Group of Ministers, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, has to take a call on the next round of spectrum auction, which will be third within a course of a year.

No date for next meeting of EGoM has been decided yet, according to official sources.


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