State govt approves communications policy to better serve masses

The state government has created a new policy to provide better communication facilities to the people of the state. For this the policy was approved at the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Kamal Nath in Jabalpur on February 16. This policy will be applicable till 2023 or till the announcement of the new policy. The committee formed by the state government for IT will be authorized to make amendments or enhance this policy.

“Basic Infrastructure Establishment Policy to provide Infrastructure Provider Madhya Pradesh 2019 for providing wireline or wireless based voice or data access services” will establish strong, secure, high quality and uniterrupted telecommunication in the entire state keeping in mind the needs of communication for the development of the society and economy. District collectors will work as the licensing authority through single window for the implementation of this policy in the districts. They will be authorized to grant licenses on the underground, over-ground work or private property of state government or any other agency.

The objective of the new policy will be to ensure the planned development and expansion of the basic infrastructure of communication facilities in the state. The use of tele-density and internet will be increased in all parts of the state. Affordable, reliable, high-speed and demand-based voice and data access services will be made available to the citizens and organizations. A simple and transparent framework will be set up to provide permission and approval of institutions that want to establish telecommunication infrastructure with the new policy.

The provisions of the new policy will be applicable in place of the policy of 4G Broadband wireline and wireless access services of 2013 effective earlier in Madhya Pradesh. The companies that work to provide wireline and wire-based data or voice access services should mandatorily have the license to work as an Infrastructure Provider Company issued by the Department of Telecom, Government of India.

As per the Infrastruture provisions in the policy, the licensed companies should have pre-built structure, shelter, cable, duct and required equipment for the construction of any structure and the experience of establishing a setup to provide wireline, wire-based voice and data access services. The company must have service providers (TSP), Infrastructure Provider, (IP) Internet Service Provider (ISP) and accessories like Generator Solar Panel.

If the NOC of the work done in accordance with the new policy is not given, the authorized agency will have to specify the reasons for giving licenses. Like if the construction of any project building is proposed to be used and it has any adverse impact on the implementation of the infrastructure on it. A high-tension line has to be laid on the road near the basic structure is being set up and which is likely to cause accident of people driving on it. In the event of refusal to provide NOC the officer authorized to grant license will have to show cause with essential documents and evidence.

In the new policy, the license will be valid for the entire period for those companies, who have been issued a valid license of the ISP, TSP, IP by the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India and which is an ‘A’ grade company with a valid registration in the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India. The licenses given to any company will be non-transferable.

The concerned company will have to furnish necessary documents and evidence with application for the renewal of license. The fees charged by the state government will be decided from time to time. The company that receives the license will have to make its payment

The infrastructure setup has been considered as a public facility in the form of temporary structures in the new policy. Hence, the provisions of Madhya Pradesh Land Development Rule 2012 will not apply. In the development of the basic infrastructure, the property tax levied by concerned local bodies will be exempted.

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