The government does not discriminate between telecom service providers and stays totally unbiased in its policies towards the sector, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha told a delegation of the mobile operators' association on Friday.
"We don't discriminate against telecom companies. We are also not biased towards any company," he later told newspersons.
The chief executives of top telecom firms, members of the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI), called on the minister and Telecom Secretary J.S. Deepak to express concerns over alleged favouritism towards new players in the sector.
"The meeting with the minister and the secretary was constructive. Both listened to us. We have told them the interconnect issue and its impact on the government, telecom companies and customers. They have indicated attempts to resolve the matter," COAI Director General Rajan S. Mathews told IANS.
The meeting came a day after a rather unprecedented move, wherein the association even wrote to the Prime Minister's Office complaining about the industry watchdog and contending that some of its moves discriminated against existing players.
The letter came after a similar missive to the Department of Telecom (DoT) that also specifically alleged that Reliance Jio has launched a full commercial service in the garb of test runs, while expressing concern over some consultation papers floated by the watchdog recently.
Jio has countered the claim, saying its tests are bona fide and aimed at delivering high-quality service.