Regulator bound by rules, cannot recommend penalty changes in interconnect case: TRAI official – Moneycontrol


The telecom regulator shouldn’t be ready to alter its beforehand fast penalty on Vodafone India and Belief Cell (now merged) and Bharti Airtel as it is miles proceed by the provisions of TRAI Act, in step with a senior TRAI official.

Citing the clauses in the Act, the regulator recently instructed the Division of Telecom (DoT) that it is miles “constrained from offering any longer feedback” on the topic and the Centre now has to safe a final name on the venture.

The regulator has already given its views once in step with a support reference in 2017 by DoT, the TRAI official talked about including that as per the provisions in the Act there shouldn’t be any scope for any longer modification.

The Act makes it sure that once a recommendation is referred support to TRAI by DoT, the regulator has to interior 15 days, forward to the central authorities its suggestions after brooding regarding the reference made by the authorities.

After receipt of further recommendation, if any, the Centre shall safe a final option, the Act says.

The official, who didn’t love to be named, talked about pursuant to the October 2016 suggestions of TRAI on the penalty to be imposed on the three operators, the suggestions own been referred support by DoT on April 5, 2017 for reconsideration, to which TRAI sent its views to the authorities on Could per chance per chance honest 24, 2017.

Therefore, after receiving “further recommendation” in step with the first support reference, the Centre has to safe final option on the topic, the official talked about explaining that TRAI is unable to trade the penalty it had urged since it is miles proceed by the provisions of the Act.

In October 2016, TRAI had fast imposing a entire penalty of Rs 3,050 crore on Airtel, Vodafone Belief for allegedly denying interconnectivity to newcomer RJio.

The penalty on Airtel and Vodafone works out to be about Rs 1,050 crore each. In case of Belief it comes to about Rs 950 crore. Since Vodafone and Belief own now merged their companies, the fresh entity Vodafone Belief must always undergo the burden of both companies.

The Digital Communications Price, the apex option-making physique of DoT, final month, approved imposing penalty on Airtel and Vodafone Belief for not offering choices of interconnection to Reliance Jio.

Sooner than imposing the penalty, however, the Price made up our minds to peep TRAI’s views on revising Rs 3,050 crore urged penalty, citing the “most popular financial health of the sector”.

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