GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS
DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 1667
TO BE ANSWERED ON 9th MARCH, 2018
PRE-PAID BALANCE OWED BY TSPs
1667. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:
Will the Minister of COMMUNICATIONS be pleased to state:
(a) whether Government is aware of the amount of pre-paid balance owed to the consumers by the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) that are shutting down the operations;
(b) if so, the details thereof;
(c) the details of the steps taken by Government to ensure that consumer receives the unused balance back from the TSPs which are shutting down their operations; and
(d) if so, the details thereof?
THE MINISTER OF STATE (IC) OF THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS &
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
(SHRI MANOJ SINHA)
(a) to (d): Pursuant to the closure of 2G/GSM and CDMA services and discontinuation of voice services, complaints have been received from the subscribers of M/s Reliance Communication Ltd. (RCL) and M/s Reliance Telecom Ltd. (RTL), who have either ported out or still not ported out from their network, regarding refund of balance amount left with M/s RCL or M/s RTL (as applicable) in the form of recharges or vouchers plans in their prepaid mobile account.
In the normal course of MNP, the balance prepaid amount is generally utilized by the prepaid subscribers before deciding to port out their mobile number. However, closure of services has forced mobile subscribers of M/s RCL and M/s RTL to port out or lose their mobile numbers and leave behind their unspent prepaid balance amount with M/s RCL and M/s RTL.
In order to facilitate the refund of unspent balance of prepaid subscribers, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI) has issued a press release and direction dated 19th January 2018 to M/s RTL and RCL as follows:
(i) Refund of unspent balance to pre-paid subscribers ported out:
M/s RCL and M/s RTL have been directed to prepare a list of all the pre-paid subscribers ported out, recipient operator wise, indicating against each subscriber the unspent balance in their account at the time of porting, and transfer such unspent amount to the recipient operator alongwith the list. The recipient operator shall credit the refund amount received from M/s RCL and/or M/s RTL to individual accounts of the subscribers, and intimate the same to such subscribers through SMS.
(ii) Refund of unspent balance to pre-paid subscribers not ported out:
M/s RCL and M/s RTL have been directed to obtain bank details from the subscribers along with IFS code and refund the unspent balance electronically, into the bank accounts of the subscribers by the 15th February, 2018, after verifying the credentials of the subscribers based on the submitted Proof of Identity (PoI) and Proof of Address (PoA).
(iii) Refund of unspent balance to pre-paid subscribers who neither ported out nor submitted the bank information or claim for refund:
M/s RCL and M/s RTL to refund to the prepaid mobile subscribers, having unspent balance of not less than rupees ten in their prepaid mobile account, by means of a crossed cheque at their postal address.