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BSNL jacking up costs, arm twisting private operators

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 5 (UNI) The OneIndia plan that enables phone calls to anywhere anytime within the country for Re one a minute has run into a string of problems with the private operators accusing Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) of arm twisting them and jacking up tariffs of distances within a 50 km radius.

''BSNL has actually jacked up costs, the carriage charges have gone up from 20 paise to 30 paise. Also 70 per cent of calls are made within the 50 km radius,'' Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General T V R Ramachandran told UNI.

The operators have lodged their protest with BSNL and DOT officials. ''DOT has asked TRAI to intervene,'' he added.

The Re 1 a minute STD rate, Mr Ramachandran said was announced on the assumption that the relief given by TRAI, in the revised ADC regime, would be implemented by BSNL. The revised regime had brought down the total collection from ADC to Rs 3,300 crore, which meant that BSNL would be getting Rs 1,800 crore less than last year.

He said the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is continuing to charge higher levies from them despite a steep reduction announced by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Mr Ramachandran said operators have been asked to pay the Access Deficit Charge (ADC) on a per minute basis even as the telecom regulator had introduced the new system of ADC to be calculated on a revenue share basis effective from March one.

He said the circular of BSNL on February 28, which is the implementation paper of the new plan, goes against the spirit of the OneIndia tariffs envisioned by the Communications and IT Minister Dyanidhi Maran as also the new IUC and ADC regime introduced by TRAI.

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