IT minister releases draft version of Telecom Bill 2022, public feedback open till October 20

By, New Delhi
Sep 23, 2022 11:07 AM IST

The draft has several major proposals, including one that calls for messaging services to seek licenses to operate in the country.

Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Union IT minister, has released a draft version of the proposed Indian Telecommunication Bill 2022 and invited feedback and suggestions from public over it. Those interested can share their suggestions straightaway, on; feedback will not be accepted after October 20.

Union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw addresses the press.(HT )
Union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw addresses the press.(HT )

“Seeking your views on draft Indian Telecom Bill 2022,” Vaishnaw tweeted on September 21, attaching with his post a link to the draft bill.

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What does the draft Indian Telecommunication Bill 2022 propose?

(1.) The draft bill has several proposals. A major proposal is that calling and messaging services such as WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype and Google Duo shall need licenses to operate in the country.

Also Read: Govt proposes law to intercept encrypted messages on WhatsApp, Signal

(2.) "For provision of Telecommunication Services and Telecommunication Networks, an entity shall have to obtain a license," the document, released on Wednesday evening, stated. It is to be noted that here, ‘telecommunication services’ includes OTT apps as well.

(3.) The government has also put out provisions for the refund of fees if a telecom or internet provider surrenders their license. Additionally, the Centre may waive, in part or full, any fee for any license holder or registered entity under the rules.

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(4.) Press messages intended to be published in India by correspondents accredited to the central or state government, will be out of the purview of these guidelines.

(5.) However, exemptions will not be applicable ‘in case of any public emergency or in the interest of the public safety, sovereignty, integrity or security of India, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, or to prevent incitement to an offence,’ the draft noted.

(With PTI inputs)

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