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Cut Spectrum fee for police: Chief Minister
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa urged the Centre to ‘revisit’ the previous UPA’s ‘ill-advised move’ of levying spectrum charges on Police Radio Network and demanded waiver of a Rs 140-crore levy by the Ministry for Communications and Information Technology
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday urged the Centre to ‘revisit’ the previous UPA’s ‘ill-advised move’ of levying spectrum charges on Police Radio Network (PRN), and demanded waiver of a Rs 140-crore levy by the Union Ministry for Communications and Information Technology. In a letter to PM Narendra Modi, she said that Tamil Nadu had raised the issue of enhanced spectrum charges being levied on the police department, with the Centre as early as in 2005.
Despite requests for waivers and outstanding dues, the spectrum charges were revised and increased almost threefold with effect from April 1, 2012, she said. The Wireless Planning and Co-ordination Wing (WPC) of the Department of Telecommunications, which allots the spectrum, had informed the state in August 2014 that spectrum charges payable for frequencies allotted to the TN Police amounted to Rs 140.83 crore, inclusive of late fee, she said and added that the state Home Department again took up the issue of waiver with the Home Ministry in September last year.
Jayalalithaa said that “charging such exorbitant amounts” for a public purpose “is completely unjustified and unwarranted.” “The PRN is also used extensively in cases of natural calamities and for public order. Such heavy spectrum charges will prevent the department from investing in key infrastructure upgradation and modernisation,” she said in her letter sent on Friday. “Hence, I request the Centre to revisit the issue of spectrum charges on the PRN which is an ill-advised move of the previous UPA Government, and exempt state police departments from payment of spectrum charges,” she said.
“The Directorate of Co-ordination, Police Wireless, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, has further indicated that the request for any fresh assignments or issue of operating licenses, including import licenses for wireless and communication equipment will not be considered till the full payment of spectrum charges is made,” she said.
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