Even though some of the decisions by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) may have hurt some stakeholders ‘very badly,’ leading to allegations of bias, the regulator has tried to maintain an ‘absolutely unbiased approach,’ said outgoing Chairman R.S. Sharma on Wednesday.The statement comes just ahead of Mr. Sharma’s five-year tenure (including an extension) as Chairman coming to an end. ‘Favouring’ new player? Under his stewardship, there have been instances where India’s biggest telecom companies have accused the regulator of biased policy decisions in favour of the then new player Reliance Jio, while hurting the incumbents.“I am not saying that we have done all the great things in five years… but definitely we have tried to maintain, irrespective of what may have been attributed to us [TRAI], an absolutely unbiased approach… consistent with the objectives of the TRAI. Maybe there are many stakeholders who have been hurt… they might have been hurt very badly, I agree,” he said. He added many times popular decisions were not the right decisions and vice versa, “but we should not be guided by any pulls and pressures… however, it is also true that the industry, the way it is organised… there are a lot of huge stakes, people do sometimes attribute motives and it pains you.”The TRAI Chief also expressed confidence that “right environment and incentives” can propel domestic manufacturing in India, and while China had built an ecosystem over the last 20 years, the “ecosystem can easily shift now very quickly to India…because you know the international situation… how people are looking at China as a country, as we have a huge advantage.”Stating that India presents a strong investment proposition and business case for global players, he said, “If there was no business case …imagine in these COVID-19 times also how many international players have tied up with Indian companies. So, we forget that just because there are some entities that may not have money to invest, therefore, there will no investment …That perception is not correct.”
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