Tariff for SMS may not be required. (Photo Credit: Photo For Representation)
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Tuesday proposed to do away with a fix rate of 50 paise for each SMS sent beyond a daily limit of 100 messages per SIM.
In its tariff order in November 2012, Trai had notified a minimum rate of 50 paise to curb menace of pesky messages. “With the introduction of TCCCPR (Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations) 2018, it is felt that regulation of tariff for SMS may not be required.
“Accordingly, the draft Telecommunication Tariff (65th Amendment) Order, 2020 proposes withdrawal of regulatory provisions relating to tariff for SMS introduced by the Telecommunication Tariff (54th Amendment) Order,” Trai said in draft Telecommunication Tariff (65th Amendment) Order, 2020.
The regulator has fixed March 3 as the deadline for stakeholder comments on the draft and March 17 for counter comments.
Meanwhile, telecom sector in India is goig through a hard time as leading companies landed themselves in a legal soup.
After Supreme Court rap and the government's stringent deadline, Bharti Airtel on Monday paid Rs 10,000 crore to the telecom department towards statutory dues. The company said it will make payment of the balance amount after self-assessment exercise. The company said it will also submit supporting details at the time of making balance payment.
The telecom department on February 14 began issuing orders asking firms such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to clear past dues immediately. The DoT, which faced the ire of the Supreme Court for putting on hold recovery of dues from telecom companies, had started issuing circle or zone-wise demand notices to the firms.
Coming down heavily over the non-payment of the AGR dues, the Supreme Court on February 14 had issued showcause notices of contempt to top telecom bosses last week. The top court had also summoned the CMDs and MDs of major telecom players including Vodafone-Idea and Airtel. Setting up the deadline, the top court ordered the telcos to pay Rs 1.47 lakh crore AGR dues by March 17. Giving the ultimatum, the apex court said, Pay up by the next date of hearing (March 17). This is the last opportunity.” The top court was also displeased with the top officer at the Department of Telecom. The apex court also issued contempt notice against the DoT officer. The top court said that “his order must be withdrawn by the evening or he should be ready to go to jail.”