GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Communication and Information Technology
DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 444
TO BE ANSWERED ON 22.11.2007
Hike in Prices by Telecom Operators.
SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR
Will the Minister of COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state:-
(a) whether Government are aware that certain telecom operators have recently hiked prices in a coordinated manner;
(b) if so, whether Government/TRAI have investigated the same; and
(c) if so, the nature of the findings and the action taken in case Government/TRAI have come to the conclusion that the increase was unjustified?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
(DR. SHAKEEL AHMAD)
(a)Yes, Sir. The tariff report filed with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) by some of the major telecom operators like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea cellular who are operating in a number of service areas indicate that there have been increase in tariffs in some of the service areas.
(b) & (c) Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) under TRAI Act, 1997 has been mandated to fix and regulate telecom tariffs. TRAI has also been empowered to review and modify telecom tariffs. TRAI vide its Telecommunication Tariff Order (TTO) 1999 has adopted a policy of forbearance except for the tariff of the three categories viz., rural subscribers, roaming charges for cellular services and leased circuits. Since the policy provides flexibility to all telecommunication service providers to fix tariff, the intervention of the Authority in telecommunication tariff is made when tariff implemented by the operator is not consistent with the framework laid down by the TTO. Two consumer organizations have filed petitions in the Hon’ble Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) against tariff hikes recently effected by Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular. The Hon’ble Tribunal has not passed any final order in these cases.