style="text-align: justify; margin: 0px">Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar has been picked to succeed JS Sarma as the Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, reports said.
Khullar, who still has a year to go in the commerce ministry said he would resign soon and would be taking up his new duties on Monday. He will have a three-year term.
Khullar has joined the telecom regulator at a time when the TRAI has received severe flak from operators after it proposed to increase the base price of the fresh auction of 2G airwaves to Rs.181.11bn from Rs.16.59bn that telecom companies paid in 2008.
The Supreme Court had ordered a fresh auction of 2G spectrum after it cancelled 122 licences issued under scam tainted ex-telecom minister A Raja, over irregularities in their allotment and allocation in 2008.
Former DIPP Secretary RP Singh, Defence Production Secretary Shekhar Agarwal, Fertiliser Secretary Ajay Bhattacharya, Former DoT Member (Technology) Chandra Prakash, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner Subodh Kumar, former Secretary (Defence Finance) Indu Liberhan and Vijayalakshmi K Gupta were the other contenders for the post.
Khullar is a 1975 batch IAS officer and was posted in the PMO from 1985 to 1990, serving under prime ministers Rajiv Gandhi and VP Singh. He was private secretary to Manmohan Singh during 1991-93, when he was initiating economic reforms as the FM. Khullar was also considered a frontrunner for the post of finance secretary last year. He is also credited with trade normalisation between India and Pakistan.