New Delhi, Jan 29 (Agencies): Taking tough measures to ensure transparency in the system, Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Saturday announced that the new telecom policy will be unveiled soon and finalised this year.

The new policy will tighten the norms for granting of licenses and airwaves to service providers in a bid to induce transparency and provide a level-playing field to new and existing players.

Announcing this at a press conference, IT & Communications Minister Kapil Sibal also said more notices will be issued to companies that had failed to roll out their services as contracted to explain why their licenses should not be annulled.  'We've reached a stage where the objectives of the existing policy have been well served. Every circle has 12-14 competitors. Tele-density has reached almost 62 percent.

Now the broad contours of the policy needs a directional shift,' Sibal said.  Spelling out some features of the policy, Sibal said that it will de-link the award of spectrum from issue of licenses and hence it will be awarded only on a market-based mechanism 

According to Sibal, the responses have been sought from the industry watchdog, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRA), on these issues and the policy would be announced within the 100-day deadline he had set for himself when he assumed charge in November. 

The government's missive to new telecom companies notwithstanding, the Supreme Court had also issued notices to 11 companies, asking why their licenses should not be anulled for not complying with the conditions, including time-bound roll out of service obligations. 

The companies that have been issued notices are: Etisalat, S-Tel, Uninor, Loop Telecom, Videocon, Allianz Infra, Idea Cellular, Tata Teleservices, Sistema Shyam Teleservices, Dishnet Wireless and Vodafone-Essar.