Union telecommunications minister Ram Vilas Paswan played host to select guests at home last week - top officials of the US embassy and his own ministry. It was representative of the Indo-US bonhomie on telecom. Indeed, India’s policy has been tailored to suit both US firms and a select group of Indian companies: Bharti, Reliance, Ispat, Tata, Essar and Shyam, better known as the "big six".
These two powerful telecom lobbies have the PMO by the ear, making it easy to influence policy and get concessions. For instance, every policy initiative mooted by the US last year (as exemplified in the "comments" on the draft New Telecom Policy filed by US ambassador Richard Celeste with the Planning Commission) has been adopted.