Department of Telecommunication Launches “GatiShakti Sanchar” Portal for Centralised Right of Way (RoW) approvals


Universal and equitable access to Broadband services across the country, especially in the rural areas- is one of the most important visions of Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. In line with the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Communications, Electronics & IT and Railways, has launched the “GatiShakti Sanchar” portal for Centralised Right of Way (RoW) approvals (www.sugamsanchar.gov.in) today (May 14, 2022).


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The event was also attended by various State Chief Secretaries and IT Secretaries along with other dignitaries from across the country; along with CEOs/CMDs/DGs/VPs/Presidents of various Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), such as BBNL, Bharti Airtel Ltd, BSNL/MTNL, COAI, DIPA, Indus Towers, ISPAI, Reliance JIO, Sterlite, Vodafone Idea etc. The portal has been developed keeping in view the vision areas of the National Broadband Mission at the core, which are, providing broadband infrastructure as a core utility to every citizen, Governance and services on demand and in particular, digital empowerment of the citizens of our country.


National Broadband Mission (NBM) was set up by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) on December 17, 2019; to facilitate universal and equitable access to broadband services across the country, especially in rural and remote areas. To fulfil this vision, it is imperative that a backbone of infrastructure is created by facilitating smooth and efficient deployment of Digital Communications Infrastructure across the country. To ensure that, DoT, is launching the “GatiShakti Sanchar” portal. This will provide a robust mechanism to achieve the goal of “Broadband for All” as envisaged in the National Digital Communication Policy-2.


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During the launch,  MoC mentioned, “The portal shall act as an enabler to the objective of “Ease of doing business” for telecommunications infrastructure works in accordance with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister. The timely disposal of RoW applications of various Service and Infrastructure providers shall enable speedy infrastructure creation which would be an enabler for timely rollout of 5G Network also. He indicated advantages of adoption of technological tools in Governance. He emphasized and deeply appreciated the role and cooperation of the states and UTs with the Central Government in operationalization of the integrated centralised GatiShakti Sanchar portal.


The portal will enable applicants form various Telecom Service providers (TSPs) as well as Infrastructure providers (IPs) to apply at a common single portal for Right of Way permissions to lay down Optical Fibre Cable and for erecting mobile towers to State/UT Governments and local bodies. As it smoothens the process of RoW permissions as well as faster approvals; it is believed to facilitate easy rollout of 5G services, in which a Base Transceiver Station (BTS) is installed at very short intervals. For effective monitoring of RoW applications across the country, the portal even comes fitted with a potent dashboard showing State and District wise pendency status.


Government of India is committed to facilitate “Ease of Doing Business” and the launch of the “GatiShakti Sanchar” portal is another step in that direction. The portal will also bring an array of advantages to the Government Bodies- both Central and State/UT. It will smoothen the RoW approval process, which will lead to:


  • Fast laying of more Optical Fiber Cable and thus will accelerate fiberization
  • Increased tower density which will enhance connectivity and improve the quality of various telecom services
  •  Increased fiberization of telecom towers, thus ensuring better Broadband speed, across the country


The portal, has been developed by MP state Electronics Development Corporation on behalf of DoT and is expected to give a fillip to the nation’s ‘AatmaNirbhar’ movement, contributing actively to transform our country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The positive impact of these efforts by the DoT have percolated to both the rural and urban India, ensuring robust broadband connectivity, which in turn will ensure uninterrupted digital access, digital delivery of services and digital inclusion of all, based on technology that is sustainable, affordable and transformative.


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Department of Telecom issues SOP for Deduction Verification


Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications has issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to ensure greater levels of standardization, efficiency as well as transparency and accountability in the deduction verification process, and thus overall License Fee and Spectrum Usage Charges Assessment process. The field offices of DoT i.e. Offices of Principal Controllers of Communication Accounts (Pr. CCA) and Controllers of Communication Accounts (CCA), carrying out the deduction verification work since 2006-07, have been directed to ensure compliance with the SOP. This SOP will be applicable for deduction verification process pertaining to FY 2021-22 onwards, except for the provisions where date of applicability is expressly mentioned.


The objectives of this SOP are to facilitate and ensure:


  1. Efficient and timely processing of deduction claims
  2. Consistency & Uniformity across verifying authorities
  3. Transparency and accountability of verifying authorities
  4. Reduction of department-industry disputes and litigation
  5. Revenue assurance by standardising admissibility/inadmissibility of claims


Overall, the DVR SOP codifies the orders/guidelines covering the deduction verification regime in a single document and also has multiple provisions for overall improvement of Deduction verification processing, through new elements such as :


· Crystallizing of verification regime for non-Access licenses such as NLD/ILD and VNOs


· Simplifying TDS verification process


· Stress on timely completion of Provisional Quarterly DVR with prescribed timelines


· Fixing clear Verification/Reviewing Authorities within O/o Pr. CCA/CCAs


· Standard two-stage verification process based on cost of invoice


· Defining process of Review before finalization of Annual Deduction Verification Report


· Prescribing well-defined Timelines for completion of Annual DVR process




Also, DoT has launched new revenue management system from FY 2020-21-SARAS (System for Assessment of LF Revenue & SUC) to ease, standardise and digitise all aspects of telecom finance compliance, including submission of AGR Statements/Deduction claim/BGs and related documents, LF/SUC payments, Deduction verification, LF/SUC assessment, BG Management, and related ancillary processes, across the life cycle of a licensee.


SARAS has digitised the deduction verification process from end to end, with digital filing of all deduction claims and related voluminous supporting documents (invoices, bank statements, ledgers, TDS certificates etc) by Licensees, as well as online verification and generation of deduction verification notices/reports by O/o Pr.CCA/CCAs. Further, SARAS facilitates enhanced transparency and accountability of deduction verification authorities by allowing for communication of item-wise allowance/disallowance with reasons. The SOP also prescribes that the process of Deduction Verification is to be conducted through the DVR module of SARAS for FY 2020-21 onwards.


Standard Operating Procedure for Deduction Verification


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Hong Kong – Labour Department investigates fatal work accident in Yau Ma Tei

Labour Department investigates fatal work accident in Yau Ma Tei

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     The Labour Department (LD) is investigating a fatal work accident that happened in Yau Ma Tei this morning (May 7) in which a man died.



     The LD immediately deployed staff to the scene upon receiving a report of the accident, and is now conducting an investigation to look into its cause.

Hong Kong – Labour Department highly concerned about fatal work accident that happened today

Labour Department highly concerned about fatal work accident that happened today

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     The Labour Department (LD) is highly concerned about a fatal work accident that happened at a villa in Tai Po this afternoon (April 27), in which while two male workers were erecting a bamboo scaffold at the external wall of the villa, the scaffold suddenly collapsed. The two workers fell onto the ground from height. One of them died and the other was injured. The LD is saddened by the death and injury of the worker in the accident and expresses its deepest sympathy to the deceased’s family and wishes the injured worker a speedy recovery. 



     The LD’s spokesman said, “We commenced an immediate on-site investigation as soon as we were notified of the accident and issued suspension notices to the contractors concerned, suspending the erection, alteration, dismantling and use of bamboo scaffolds at external walls of the villa. The contractors cannot resume the work process until the LD is satisfied that measures to abate the relevant risks have been taken.”

 

     The spokesman added, “We will complete the investigation as soon as possible to identify the cause of the accident, ascertain the liability of the duty holders and recommend improvement measures. We will take actions pursuant to the law if there is any violation of the work safety legislation.”        

 

     The general duty provisions of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance require employers to provide safe working environments, plant and systems of work for their employees. Those who contravene the above provisions are liable to a maximum fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for six months.        

 

     In regard to today’s accident, the LD will issue a Work Safety Alert through its website and email, giving a brief account of the accident concerned to duty holders, workers’ unions, professional bodies of safety practitioners and others, and reminding the industry of the importance of following safety precautionary measures to prevent a recurrence of similar accidents.        

 

     The LD will also remind the employer concerned of the liability for employees’ compensation under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance, assist family members of the deceased to claim employees’ compensation and closely follow up on the case. For those with financial difficulties, the LD will assist them to apply for appropriate emergency funds. Subject to the needs and wishes of family members of the deceased, the LD will also liaise with the Social Welfare Department for financial or other assistance.        

 

     For the sake of securing the safety and health of employees at work, the LD appeals to employers to provide plant and systems of work that are safe and without risks to health. Employees should co-operate with their employers, adopt all safety measures and properly use personal protective equipment provided to avoid endangering their own work safety and that of other workers.

The Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) gets Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration, 2020 for the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme


The Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) received the prestigious Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration, 2020 for its scheme ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ (ONORC). Hon. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi conferred the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration on the occasion of 15th Civil Services Day in New Delhi on 21.04.2022. The award was presented under the category Innovation (General)-Central.


The landmark plan of ONORC is a countrywide innovation that allows all NFSA beneficiaries, particularly migrant beneficiaries, to claim either full or part foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of choice in the country through existing ration card with biometric/Aadhaar authentication in a seamless manner. The system also allows their family members back home, if any, to claim the balance of foodgrains on same the ration card.





(Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey (2nd from left), Joint Secretary S. Jagannathan (centre), and other officials of the Department of Food and Public Distribution, with the PM Award Trophy and Scroll-  2020.)


The Department is also collaborating with other Ministries/Departments i.e. National Health Authority (NHA), Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MoHUA), Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE), and Department of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare (DoAFW), etc. to leverage the large volume of the ONORC database for deepening the outreach of citizen-centric government schemes across the country.


The ONORC which was started initially in 4 States in August 2019 was swiftly rolled out in a very short span of time in 32 States/UTs by December 2020. Since then, progressively in a phase-wise manner, the ONROC plan is presently enabled in 35 States/UTs up to Feb 2022 seamlessly covering nearly 77 Crore beneficiaries (almost 96.8% of NFSA population) in the country.


ONORC has made food subsidies portable to NFSA beneficiaries during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly migrants, which allowed them to avail the benefit of subsidised foodgrains with flexibility from any of the nearly 5 lakh Fair Price Shops in the country during the lockdown period. Since the inception of the ONORC plan in August 2019, so far more than 65 Crore portability transactions have been recorded in the States/UTs, delivering nearly 121 LMT foodgrains through both inter-State and intra-State portability transactions equivalent to about Rs. 36,000 Crore in food subsidy. As a key indicator, presently a monthly average of about 2.7 Crore portability transactions (including regular NFSA and PM-GKAY foodgrain transactions) are being recorded in the States/UTs under ONORC. A high volume of about 58 Crore portability transactions has been done by the beneficiaries during the COVID-19 period (from April 2020 till date).


A specially customized Android Mobile App on ONORC is also available in 13 languages and has been downloaded nearly 20 lakh times. Besides, a 5-digit ‘14445’ toll-free number for migrant NFSA beneficiaries is also available in most States/UTs under ONORC.


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