Trai foresees 10 paise hike in telecom tariff

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has foreseen a 5 to 10 paise hike in mobile tariffs, if its proposals on telecom policy are accepted.

Trai chairman Rahul Khullar, in his presentation before the Empowered Group of Ministers on Thursday, said: “The operators’ profitability will improve even if the tariffs are hiked by just 5 paise.”

The regulator’s opinion, however, contradicts claims by telecom firms which had earlier said mobile tariffs can increase by 90 paise if Trai’s proposal of fixing the reserve price at Rs 18,000 crore for 5 MHz, is accepted. Private players in the sector have already requested the government to abstain from going by the Trai recommendations, contending that the reserve price is too high.

The EGoM, headed by Home Minister P Chidamabram, on Thursday discussed the issue at length and may take a call on fixing the base price in the next meeting, likely to take place early next week.

On the alleged loss of revenue to the state exchequer, Khullar said: “The national exchequer can get as much as Rs 6.9 lakh crore over the next 20 years.”

Besides, Trai also proposed to shift the present operators from the existing superior spectrum bands, to another band considered to be less efficient.

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