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Last Updated : May 25, 2016 10:04 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Call drops: TRAI may release consultation paper if deemed fit

The Supreme Court, earlier this month, said that telecom companies cannot be fined for call drops and had also said that the Parliament can make and enact a call drop compensation rule. Any decision taken by the TRAI will be preceded by a consultation paper, said the regulatory body‘s chairman RS Sharma.


With Supreme Court dismissing Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) provision of a penalty for call drops, the body is now mulling over steps that can be taken to protect consumer interest.

Earlier this month, the apex court had said that telecom companies cannot be fined for call drops and had also said that the Parliament can make and enact a call drop compensation rule.

Any decision taken by the TRAI will be preceded by a consultation paper, said the regulatory body’s chairman RS Sharma.

If need be, then the body will release the consultation paper over the issue of call drops and how consumers can be protected, he told CNBC-TV18’s Prerna Baruah. If a consultation paper is released, then inputs from stakeholders will be considered.

Below is the verbatim transcript of RS Sharma's interview with Prerna Baruah on CNBC-TV18.

Q: What do you think about the call drop issue?

A: We think that the TRAI has the mandate and the duty to protect the interest of the consumers and this regulation was brought essentially with that objective. While the regulation has been quest, we will continue to protect the interest of the consumers. So we are now deliberating within TRAI as to what should be the road ahead for us and we will come with that proposal as and when we take that call and decision.

As I said, we are still deliberating the issue. There could be many other things, which could come in and as of now, we have not come to any conclusion.

Q: If you could just throw some light, will it be in the form of a fresh consultation in line with the Supreme Court?

A: Whatever decision TRAI comes up with, it is always proceeded by a consultative process. It is an extremely inclusive consultation process which takes place, which means the TRAI puts up a consultation paper, which sets out the issues under consideration and thereafter the views of the stakeholders are invited. Those views are posted on the website of the TRAI.

Thereafter we also invite counter comments on those views. After that we have an open house discussion where every stakeholder is invited to participate and give its views. Thereafter we basically arrive and when we arrive at a decision, we also give what is called an explanatory memorandum, which sets out as to why we arrived at a decision, the logic of that decision.

So, all the decisions, regulations, orders, recommendations are done after a consultative process. So, we believe that we are certainly a model of transparency for other agencies to emulate. We follow an extremely transparent and open process.

Q: Will we soon hope for a consultation paper being floated by to protect the consumer interest?

A: In case TRAI decides to do that. As I said, we have not come to any decision as to what should be the next course of action but in case we decide to take any action or any kind of other thought, which we have, we will bring it out in form of a consultation paper.

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First Published on May 25, 2016 09:59 am
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