Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has extended the date for receiving comments on its consultation paper on ‘Tariff Issues of Telecom Services’ that sought views on fixing a floor price for voice and data services on telecom networks.
The date has now been extended upto February 28, 2020 for filing comments and March 13, 2020 has been set as the final date for counter comments.
In the paper previously released on December 17, 2019, the regulator had asked if a regulatory intervention was needed to fix a floor price in a market which recently saw tariff hikes of up to 50% asking industry stakeholders ways to compute a floor rate.
Vodafone Idea, Airtel and Jio had hiked tariffs in the range of 25-50% in December 2019, as SC’s October AGR ruling had dented a severe financial blow to the sector.
The regulator had earlier invited industry stakeholders to submit their responses over the matter by January 17, 2020 and counter-comments by January 31, 2020.
The sector watchdog said that it decided to extend the time for submission of comments as it received requests from a number of stakeholders.
It had also warned that the exercise (of fixing tariffs) is termed ‘market distorting’ by economists.
Trai had floated the consultation paper as the sector and the government prodded it to come up with a floor price so that telcos could see improvements in their ARPUs.
The release of the paper was accompanied by Trai deferring the IUC scrappage date by a year to January 2021. The no- IUC regime was slated to kick in from January this year.