Trai crusade to continue

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By M. RAJENDRAN in Delhi
  • Published 6.07.05
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New Delhi, July 6: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), which recently came out with consumer-friendly measures, plans to issue more directives soon.

The regulator is likely to bring in a punishment clause for non-implementation of its directives. It may even ask the government to impose an additional penalty.

Trai is also planning to reduce the monitoring period for the quality of fixed-line and cellular telephone services.

Trai chairman Pradeep Baijal said, “When the present authority assumed charge, there was a lot of litigation and we had to restructure the sector. There was no investment and the sector was not growing ... all the companies were losing money.”

“Till now, we were busy solving these issues and looking at new policies like spectrum. We are aware that consumers are facing many problems as the services expanded and new ones were introduced,” said Baijal.

The Trai Act states that the regulator should protect the interests of consumers, monitor the quality of services and conduct periodical survey of the services provided by operators.

Baijal said consumer complaints are not in the purview of the Trai Act. “A district consumer forum looks after such complaints,” he added.

However, consumer-related directives by Trai are intended to help the district consumer forums, Baijal said. The other option is to drag the operators to courts.

“People can get justice quickly from consumer forums. So we have decided to come out with more regulations and directives for consumers,” Baijal said.

“If operators don’t meet the quality parameters, we will prosecute them and that includes directing the licensor (government) to impose a penalty on the defaulter,” said Baijal.