New penalty norms for telcos soon

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is likely to notify the new penalty norms within a month for mistakes committed by the telecom firms.

Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission in March had approved a new penalty scheme, which has five slabs ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 50 crore, for violation of norms by mobile
operators but are yet to be notified.

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

In the wake of the telecom scam, due to apprehensions of having to face allegations of favouring telecom operators, DoT officials had begun imposing the maximum penalty of Rs 50 crore even for minor mistakes. This forced the telecom firms to approach the government and seek a revision of the penalty amount.

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