NEW DELHI: A bill to remove legal hurdles in the appointment of former TRAI chief Nripendra Misra as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister has now become an Act with President Pranab Mukherjee giving his assent.
The President gave his assent to the Telecom Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2014 on July 17, officials said today.
The amendment bill was passed by Parliament earlier this week.
Government has maintained that focus of the measure was to remove "a palpable anomaly" as the existing law provided that a former TRAI chairman could take up private job two years after retirement but not a government job.
Other regulatory bodies like Competition Commission, Airports Economic Regulatory Authority and SEBI do not have such provision which made the government to amend the law to bring parity, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had told the Lok Sabha.
The bill passed by Parliament replaces an ordinance issued on May 28 to amend a clause in the TRAI Act by which Misra could not have been appointed to any government post after retirement.
The bill amends this section to read as: "The chairperson and the whole-time members shall not, for a period of two years from the date on which they cease to hold office as such, except with the previous approval of the central government, accept "(a) any employment either under the central government or under any state government; or "(b) any appointment in any company in the business of telecommunication service." Misra, a 1967-batch retired IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre who retired in 2009, joined the PMO the same day the ordinance was promulgated and the bill was being brought to give his appointment the requisite legal backing.
The principal secretary to the prime minister is a key post and acts as main link for coordination among Prime Minister's Office, cabinet secretariat and secretaries of ministries.