The government is planning to disband the Digital Communication Commission (DCC), a multi-ministry apex determination-making body overseeing all important telecom issues, and hand over the crucial and large-budget decisions to the Department of Expenditure (DoE) under the Ministry of Finance.

According to industry sources, the matter will be taken up by the Union Cabinet soon, as DCC was being seen as an unnecessary layer that was leading to delays in decision-making on important telecom matters. The government believes that since DoE’s in-principle approval is a must for any major communications industry project that exceeds Rs 1 billion when being cleared by the telecom secretary, getting the DCC also involved in the process only led to duplication and delays in decision-making. 

Further, as per sources, the introduction of additional requirement of in-principle clearance from DoE for any scheme renders DCC effectively devoid of any administrative and financial powers. Appraisal power is also now circumscribed by requirement of in-principle clearance by the DoE. The process of introducing another layer of in-principle approval before any scheme is put to DCC will defeat the purpose of the body as it would lead to further delay.

With the disbanding of DCC, there would also be a re-designation of key members of the unit. The Member (Finance) will be re-designated as Director-General (Finance), Member (Technology) as Director-General (Technology), and Member (Services) as Director-General (Services). They will report to the telecom secretary.