The Central government has decided to disband the Digital Communication Commission (DCC) and hand over the crucial and large-budget decisions to the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.

 

What is the Digital Communication Commission (DCC)?

  • The Telecom Commission was set up by the Central Government in 1989.
  • In 2018, the Commission was re-designated as ‘Digital Communication Commission’.
  • The DCC is responsible for —
      • Formulating the policy of Department of Telecommunications for approval of the Government;
      • Preparing the budget for the Department of Telecommunications for each financial year and getting it approved by the Government;
      • Implementation of Government’s policy in all matters concerning telecommunication.

 

Members

  • The Digital Communications Commission consists of —
      • a Chairman,
      • four full time members, who are ex-officio Secretaries to the Government of India in the Department of Telecommunications and
      • four part time members who are the Secretaries to the Government of India in the concerned Departments.
  • The Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Telecommunications is the ex-officio Chairman of the Digital Communications Commission.

 

What is the need to disband the DCC?

  • The DCC was being seen as an “unnecessary layer” that is leading to delays in decision-making on important telecom matters.
  • The Government believes that since the Department of Economic Affairs’ in-principal approval is a must for any major communications industry project that exceeds Rs 100 crore when being cleared by the telecom secretary.
      • Getting the DCC also involved in the process only leads to duplication and delays decision-making.
      • This renders DCC effectively devoid of any administrative and financial powers (limited budget and establishment set-up).
  • Even appraisal power is now circumscribed by requirement of in-principle clearance by the DoE.
  • The Government plans to disband DCC and transfer all the roles and responsibilities to the DoE.