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.
- 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.