Telecom secretary R Chandrashekhar, who is to retire on March 31 after a two-and-a-half- year long stint as the secretary of India's most controversial sector told CNBC-TV18's Malvika Jain that after investor confidence was adversely affected post cancellation of licences by the Supreme Court, the business environment in the sector has improved.
"There were a number of challenges that had to be addressed such as uncertainty about the continuance of a large number of operators prior to the Supreme Court judgement of 2012."
"This was followed by uncertainty regarding the overall policy framework, how spectrum would be priced and to the licensing regime. And these uncertainties impacted fresh investments. However, the Supreme Court’s judgment in 2012 and the subsequent events in my assessment significantly crystallised the entire policy environment."
On whether the government had not adequately supported the telecom ministry, Chandrashekhar added, "I am not sure whether everybody would argue with you that it is the government’s job to fight court cases on behalf of companies or keeping the interest of companies in mind."
The soon-to-retire telecom secretary throws light on the reasons for allocating spectrum at lower prices, “In these matters people may have different opinions and in many cases the opinions have varied over time as events unfolded. What was a fashionable opinion at one point in time may actually fade and move onto a different perspective later."
"The fact is that in the course of these proceedings the government took into consideration the entire history of decision-making in the sector as well as all the various perspectives before taking the particular decisions."