Telecom M&A guidelines to be announced in two more weeks: Telecom Minister

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Telecom M&A guidelines to be announced in two more weeks
The guidelines for the mergers and acquisition (M&A) in the telecom sector will be announced in two weeks time, union minister for communications & information technology (IT) and law & justice, Kapil Sibal, said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Interacting with media, Sibal also informed that optical fibre cable connecting 2.5 lakh gram panchayats is being laid at the moment and the matter related to the post bank has gone to the EFC (Expenditure Finance Committee) and after EFC gives its opinion it will be moved to the cabinet.

The minister also informed that government has so far not received any proposal from Vodafone for foreign investment in telecom sector.

Speaking at the inauguration of the '11th Knowledge Summit 2013-Cyber Era: Securing the future,' organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Sibal said, "As we move on into the 21st century it will be necessary for the whole world to move into the cyber space to make their systems more efficient, accountable and competitive."

Sharing his concerns about the emerging cyber divide amid nations, the minister said, "We need to discuss an issue within the global community that just like there is a digital divide at the local, national and international level, there is going to be a cyber divide between nations that produce intellectual property and those which use it as those who produce the intellectual property will lay down the rules of the game and those who use it will be recipient of those rules that are laid down by those who control the information."

"All servers are housed outside of India in the United States of America and they decide what type of information should be brought on the table and be used by the people across the world and they decide what quality of information should be used," said Mr Sibal. "All the hardware is being manufactured in the western world, they determine the standards, certification and what that hardware will contain and they sell it to us as many countries do not have the capacity to manufacture hardware."

The minister also said that players in the cyber world should evolve mechanisms to ensure that cyber space is not used to create tensions in the society and amid communities but he assured that the government does not intend to dilute the power of cyber space in anyway.

Talking about the jurisdiction, the minister said that if there is something in the cyberspace that impacts India substantially then jurisdiction must of Indian courts irrespective of the location of the person responsible for that. "We need to evolve this jurisprudence as we go along by accepting maximum impact theory."

Dion Global Solutions Ltd.

Story first published: Thursday, October 17, 2013, 9:11 [IST]
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