The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Witty Mahajan floors all

New Delhi, Sept. 6: “You cannot climb a wall that is leaning against you, kiss a woman who is leaning away from you and speak about telecom to those who have spent years on telecom.”

That was Union communications minister Pramod Mahajan giving his thanksgiving speech here this morning after being conferred the “Telecom Man of the Year” award. The award was given to him by PTC India Foundation, a lobby of telecom companies and sponsored by his ministry’s public sector unit—Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.

Mahajan today also managed to get the chairman of the telecom regulator to bless his “Telecom Man of the Year” award but snubbed the regulator’s demand for introduction of a competition law in the sector.

Mahajan was at his best, lambasting private operators for crying foul over the proposed new tariffs to be offered by BSNL for its cellular and wireless in local loop (WiLL) limited services, exchanging the hat of a policy maker with that of a service provider.

Mahajan alleged the media had failed to be fair while reporting on the issue of telecom rates. “On several occasions, whenever private operators indulged in aggressive pricing and marketing on telecom services, it was viewed as ‘customer oriented’. On the other hand, whenever the government similar measures, it was viewed as ‘predatory’ and editorials screamed that the government-owned telecom companies are killing the competition,” he said.

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