Barcelona : Telecom regulator Trai on Tuesday said anybody is free to move court against its tariff order after operators threatened to challenge the new rules while terming them “not fair”.
“Ours is a free country where every individual or entity has a right to seek legal remedies. If somebody is aggrieved with the tariff order, challenging it before appropriate forum will be the the right approach,” Trai Chief RS Sharma told PTI.
He was replying to a question on Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) planning to challenge Trai’s predatory pricing rule in court.
Earlier also, such baseless allegations were made and the matter had gone to TDSAT and the court had upheld Trai’s decision, Sharma said. Under the new rules, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will impose financial disincentive of up to Rs 50 lakh per circle on operators if their service rates are found to be predatory in nature.
A tariff will be considered predatory if in a “relevant market”, a telecom operator with over 30 per cent market share offers services at a price which is below the average “variable cost”, with a view to reduce competition or eliminate the competitors in the “relevant market”.
Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao said: ” It sounds like you have to fight somebody with hands tied at the back. That is not fair.”
COAI is evaluating legal options and may also approach Department of Telecom and Prime Minister’s Office on their grievances against the regulator’s decision.
Its members Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone have raised concern on Jio’s rates. Airtel has termed Jio tariff predatory. COAI has alleged that order by Trai has put all but one operator at a huge disadvantage and that its regulations had distorted the market. Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said India will align with the world to enhance telecom footprint in the country and revenue generation will not be a priority for the government.
“India will proceed with the world in the transformation. We want to make telecom enabler of common man’s life and not the source of revenue. We will discuss it in detail under new telecom policy,” Sinha said.