This Article is From Jan 04, 2016

Government Says New Penalty Rule for Telecom Operators Soon

Government Says New Penalty Rule for Telecom Operators Soon
New Delhi: The government will soon finalise a new penalty rule for telecom operators, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Monday.

"The process of rationalisation for imposition of penalty is under active consideration," he said.

When asked about a specific time line, the telecom minister said that it will be put in place "very soon". 

The inter-ministerial panel of Telecom Commission in March 2014 had approved a new penalty scheme with five slabs ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 50 crore for violation of norms by mobile operators. But they are yet to be notified. 

Under the proposed scheme of penalty, fines start with a warning that invite a penalty of Rs 1 lakh for minor violation and move up in line with severity at Rs 1 crore, Rs 5 crore, Rs 20 crore and Rs 50 crore.

Apprehending that they may be charged of favouring telecom operators, Department of Telecom (DoT) officials had started imposing maximum penalty of Rs 50 crore even for minor mistakes.

"Earlier, the elements of flexibility and discretion were not there," Mr Prasad said.

He said that the next two years will be great for expansion of mobile services driven by quality.

In the coming days, common service centres, rural post offices, rural BPO schemes and digital village scheme are going to be game changers, he said.

"These four things will become cutting edge base of digital India."

The government will increase the number of common service centres (CSC) to 2 lakh and convert most of the rural post offices into CSC, the minister said.