Action against operators if tariff not cut after ADC phase out

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New Delhi, Apr 24 (UNI) Minister for Communications A Raja today said action would be taken against telecom operators who did not reduce their tariffs after the phase out of the Annual Deficit Charges (ADC) levied on them.

In a reply in the Rajya Sabha during Question Hour, the Minister said,''if inspite of the ADC on telecom operators being phased out, the tariff does not come down, we will review the situation. Also, action will be taken against private operators of the tariff is not reduced.'' The Minister said the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has decided to do away with the levying of the ADC which was being charged at a rate of 0.75 per cent of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) on telecom operators for domestic segments from April 1, 2008.

However, the ADC on incoming international long distance calls has been reduced from Re 1 per minute to 50 paise per minute from April 1 and it was to be phased out from September 30 this year.

He said the impact of the phase out of the ADC on domestic call charges was less than 0.75 per cent.

Stating that the ADC has been provided by the TRAI to basic service operators, including the BSNL, for compensating the access deficits incurred by them for the provision of basic services in rural, semi urban and urban areas at affordable tariff which are below the cost-based tariff.

Accordingly, ADC so earned by the BSNL was utilised for providing and maintaining its basic services at affordable rates in urban, semi urban and remote areas.

In reply to another question, the Minister said there was no mandatory provision under the prescribed rules to force private operators to go in for rural telephony.

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