Union Government forms panel to resolve telecom penalty row

The Union Telecom Ministry has formed a committee to look into the regulator TRAI’s recommendation of a Rs. 3,050 crore penalty on top three telcos — Airtel, Vodafone and Idea.

The committee has been asked to give a report on the recommendations soon likely to be before 15 November 2016.

What is the case?

  • Earlier TRAI had recommended Department of Telecom to impose penalty on these three incumbents telecom companies for denying interconnection points to Reliance Jio.
  • According to TRAI, these three companies have violated licence norms by denying adequate interconnection points to Reliance Jio Infocomm.
  • Their actions also have stifled the competition and are seen as anti-consumer and against public interest.
  • The Reliance Jio had alleged that due to inadequate interconnection points its subscribers were unable to make calls to other networks.
  • TRAI had recommended fine for Airtel and Vodafone to Rs.1,050 crore for 21 service areas (all, expect Jammu and Kashmir) and for Idea the penalty was pegged at Rs 950 crore for 19 service areas (all, except for Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Northeastern States).

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