Rahul Khullar to head Trai

Rahul Khullar to head Trai

Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar has been appointed new chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

Khullar, a 1975 batch IAS officer of Delhi cadre, will succeed J S Sarma, sources said.

Sarma’s tenure ended on Sunday. Khullar’s appointment was cleared by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Khullar’s tenure will end in 2015.

Khullar will head Trai at a time when the regulator is in the line of fire of telecom operators for its recommendations on spectrum auction in which it has proposed steep high base price for radio waves due for action before August 31.

The new Trai chief will have to deal with the telecom industry which is widely divided.As commerce secretary, Khullar, 59, is credited with trade normalisation between India and Pakistan. He had been successful in implementing measures that helped exports cross $300-billion mark in 2011-12.

He has also negotiated well India’s stance at WTO and various other multilateral pacts. Khullar was personal secretary to Singh in 1991 when the latter was the finance minister in the Narsimha Rao government when the economic reforms were unleashed in India.

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