Pradeep Kumar Pujari, the Secretary for Ministry of Power has been given additional charge as Secretary for Telecom, reports ET. Pujari replaces J.D Deepak who was shifted from the post temporality and moved to the Department of Commerce. According to the report, Pujari’s appointment at DoT is temporary. Prior to his work with the Ministry of Power, Pujari also held several other secretarial and advisory position with the Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Agriculture Ministry.
Deepak joined the DoT first in 2008 as Joint Secretary and has also worked with various government departments overlooking policy. He earlier served as Chairman & Managing Director of State Trading Corporation (STC) of India, a member of the board of directors of state-owned telcos BSNL, and MTNL. Deepak was also named as the next Indian ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO). He will take charge as ambassador from June this year.
Deepak’s removal comes after he questioned TRAI
Note that Deepak’s removal as secretary of DoT comes shortly after he penned a letter to the telecom regulator TRAI asking it to restrict the period of promotional packs offered by telcos, which is currently has a maximum validity of 90 days. He added that Reliance Jio’s free offers have cost the government money and that it has affected the telecom industry. He pointed out to TRAI’s regulations which mention that any kind of pack which is “promotional in nature” cannot be offered beyond 90 days, and asked the TRAI to “act in…spirit of its own directions.”