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Rajya Sabha passes TRAI Amendment Bill, paves way for Misra's appointment as PM aide

Rajya Sabha passes TRAI Amendment Bill, paves way for Misra's appointment as PM aide

Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the government decided to amend the law to bring parity among all regulatory bodies.

New Delhi: The TRAI Amendment Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on Tuesday which would remove legal hurdles in the appointment of former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chief Nripendra Misra as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.

The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Moving the Bill, Minister for Law and Telecom Ravi Shankar Prasad said the focus of the measure was to remove "a palpable anomaly" as the existing law provided that a former TRAI Chairman could take up private job two years after retirement but not a government job ever in his life.

Other regulatory bodies like Competition Commission, Airports Economic Regulatory Authority and SEBI do not have such provision, he said, adding the government decided to amend the law to bring parity among all regulatory bodies.

He said the Bill and Ordinance were not "individual specific". The government was doing away with this anomaly that someone is capable and government is not able to utilise his services.

"The scope of the Bill is very limited and it is to create equality among all regulatory bodies," Prasad said.

T Subbirami Reddy (Congress) moved a statutory resolution to disapprove the The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Ordinance issued earlier to appoint Misra as Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, saying the ordinance was like a 'Brahmastra' which should be used rarely by the government.

The TRAI Bill replaces an ordinance issued on May 28 to amend a clause in the TRAI Act by which Misra could not have been appointed to any government post after retirement.

Misra, a 1967-batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre who retired in 2009, joined the PMO the same day the ordinance was promulgated and the bill was being brought to give his appointment the requisite legal backing.

(With additional information from PTI)####