3G services, lowering mobile tariffs top priorities: Raja

In India, at present local call rates vary from 40 paise to Re 1, and national call rates from Re 1 to Rs 2 a minute.

Raja, who got the prestigious Communications and IT Ministry for the second consecutive term, feels there is enough scope for tariffs to come down and the policies followed during his previous stint would help in achieving this.

Besides, lowering the call tariffs auction of spectrum for 3G services and introduction of IT at the lowest level in government to make possible paperless functioning are also on top of his agenda.

The Minister is likely to take charge next week as he, along with his other cabinet colleagues, flew to Chennai this morning to seek their leader's (Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi) blessings.

"Auctioning of 3G spectrum is on top of my priority list," Raja said.

With the introduction of 3G and Wimax, wireless broadband would get a major boost, specially in rural areas.

Asked about the schedule for auctioning 3G spectrum, the minister said the Department of Telecom would take the proposal to the cabinet at the earliest.

Besides telecom this time, the Minister wants to focus on information technology.

"I want to make the functioning of government offices paperless through the introduction of technology," he said.

With regard to postal services, the Minster said he would transform the sector to bring it on a par with global standards.

The Minister would be assisted by two Ministers of State, Sachin Pilot and Gurdas Kamat.

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