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TRAI views on rules for publishing tariff offers likely in a week

TRAI is likely to come out with its views on the issue of boosting transparency in publishing of tariff offers by telecom companies, in a week or so, a regulatory source said.

The telecom regulator in a bid to safeguard consumer interest, had earlier initiated a stakeholder discussion on enhancing transparency in disclosure and publishing of tariff offers which are rolled out by telcos.

The consultation had been initiated in November 2019 after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) received a significant number of complaints from individual consumers on lack of transparency in disclosure of tariff-related information.

A TRAI source told PTI that the regulator”s views on this issue is expected in a week, and the next off the block could be one pertaining to international mobile roaming services and bill shocks, where again deliberations are in final stages.

While the consultation paper on higher transparency in publishing of tariff offers had mooted the idea of introducing `a tariff calculator tool”, the source said that particular aspect may require some more discussion with the industry.

Accordingly, it may be taken up later after more consultations, the source said adding that rest of the issues including dos and don”ts of publishing tariff information are expected to be released within a week.

It may be recalled that the consultation paper on transparent reporting and disclosure of tariffs dealt with multiple issues including whether the format prescribed for publishing tariff at telecom operators” website conveys the relevant information to consumers in a simple yet effective manner.

The regulator had also sought stakeholder views on whether there should be specific requirement for service providers to publish all the tariff offerings and vouchers in addition to the publishing of tariff plans, in prescribed format.

Another question raised by TRAI was whether telcos should be asked to give a declaration that there are no hidden terms and conditions applicable to a tariff offering filed with the regulator, other than those disclosed.

On the priority plan issue, the TRAI source said the regulator has received Vodafone Idea”s (VIL) response to the showcause notice and is examining the matter.

VIL has submitted a detailed response on priority plan issue and urged TRAI for a `reasoned order”, the source added but did not divulge details. PTI

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