Telecom regulator TRAI is working on a report for improving telecom services in Andaman and Nicobar Islands which will be released in next six months, TRAI chairman, Rahul Khullar said at an event orgainsed by industry body Assocham in New Delhi.
“In six months we will come out with a report on how to improve telecom connectivity in Andaman and Nicobar region,” said the chief of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) while inaugurating a national summit on ‘IT & Mobile: Revolutionising Indian Banking-Enabling Financial Inclusion'.
He also said that TRAI had issued a regulation which mandates the telecom companies as of January 1st to provide the pipe connection to the NPCI (National Payments Council of India). “Sometime later this month I will call them and find out exactly where they are and then they will get to know it’s consequences.”
“It is a national shame that today 41 per cent of our population and 46 per cent of rural households do not have a bank account, while vast amounts of our population do not have access to loans,” said Mr Khullar while highlighting that the banking sector has run abysmally short of achieving financial inclusion. “The banking correspondent model has made some headway but it still has a long way to go.”
Talking about financial inclusion, the TRAI chairman said that citizens in far-flung areas across the country should have the facility to be able to open an account remotely, check on their balance, deposit, withdraw and transfer money through phone without having to go to a nearby town or city to complete the transaction. “It is these core, rudimentary services which need to be provided to achieve financial inclusion.”
“The problem with financial inclusion for over last three-four years has been that it tends to fall between the cracks i.e. is the two regulators,” said Khullar. “When the telecom regulator and the central Bank regulator cannot get their act together then it is pointless to blame industry as in most societies where the financial inclusion has proceeded well it has taken the combined efforts of both regulators.”