Government considering giving TRAI authority to impose penalty

As per Telecom Ministry, the government is thinking taking away penalizing powers, which are used to punish service providers for not complying with rules and regulations, from the Department of Telecom (DoT), and giving these to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Why the government intends to transfer the penalizing powers to TRAI?

As per the government, the Department of Telecom (DoT) is imposing excessive penalties on the telecom operators who fail to adhere to rules. As per industry estimates, telecom service providers are facing penalty to the tune of Rs. 6,500 crore. Of this, Rs. 1,900 crore has been imposed with regards to EMF (radiation) issues. The government intends to bring in proportionality so that penalty levied in some way is related to seriousness of the violation of the licence condition. Therefore, it is mulling to transfer penalizing powers from DoT to TRAI. Currently, while TRAI has the power to regulate and monitor rates, quality and other parameters of telecom and broadcasting services to protect consumer interest, it does not have the power to impose penalties on service providers for failing to adhere to rules.



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