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Race for TRAI head in last lap

The race for the post of chairman of TRAI has reached its last lap. The current telecom secretary Siddharth Behura is now more or less out as the law ministry has opined that there is an inherent “conflict of interest”.

business Updated: Mar 13, 2009 21:16 IST
Manoj Gairola

The race for the post of chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has reached its last lap. The current telecom secretary Siddharth Behura is now more or less out as the law ministry has opined that there is an inherent “conflict of interest”.

Finance secretary Arun Ramanathan is now the front-runner.

According to a senior official who wished to remain anonymous, the law ministry said that if Behura is appointed as the TRAI chairman, there would be conflict of interest between his existing post and that of TRAI chairman. As telecom secretary, Behura has taken a number of decisions on spectrum and licensing issues. TRAI has different opinion on these issues. Yashwant Bhave, secretary of the department of consumer affairs (DCA) and D.S. Mathur, former secretary of the DoT, are also in the fray. Member (technology) of Telecom Commission K Sridhara and former power secretary Anil Razdan are also in the fray.

TRAI Act says that the chairperson should have specialised knowledge and “professional experience in telecommunication, industry, finance, accountancy, law, management or consumer affairs.”

The current chairman Nipendra Misra retires on March 22 after a three-year stint.