New Delhi, Dec. 12: The department of telecom (DoT) has sent a note to the cabinet for approval on allowing foreign CEOs in telecom companies, besides seeking to do away with the remote access ban and dual norms for those firms with and above 49 per cent of FDI. DoT sent the final cabinet note for approval to various ministries yesterday.
The government had provided January 2 as the latest deadline by which the telecom companies have to comply with the FDI guidelines. Cabinet is expected to approve the changes in the original guidelines of FDI in telecom (Press Note 5) before the deadline.
In the note, DoT has said that a nationality criteria to choose CEOs would only look regressive when the country is encouraging FDI in the sector, and hence, there is no need to insist on having Indian CEOs at the telecom companies.
The note further said that with the approval of the home ministry, foreign nationals could be appointed as CEOs in Indian telecom companies.
If the cabinet note gets approved, Tata Teleservices, which has a foreign CEO — Darryl Green, will be the main beneficiary.
DoT's cabinet note also seeks to allow remote access to telecom companies with the caveat that there will be blanket approval for existing network operations and management centres, while for new centres, government’s approval would be required.
DoT is understood to have convinced security agencies that foreign officials are not a threat to the country. Important voice and data traffic pertaining to key ministries and government would be sent through a secured network so that even if the remote access centre is outside, these official data would not be exposed to a third party.