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TRAI approved Increase in Processing Fee for Mobile Recharge Coupons priced above Rs 20

Telecom regulator TRAI on 19 April 2012 approved increase in processing fee for all mobile recharge coupons (top-up vouchers) priced above Rs 20. The government however left the processing fee unchanged for the vouchers below Rs 20. The processing fee is included within the MRP of recharge coupon purchased. The regulator cleared the increase of 50 per cent in the charge through an amendment made to the Telecom Tariff Order (TTO).

TRAI decided to increase the ceiling on Processing Fee on Top up vouchers to Rs 3 from Rs 2 in respect of Top up vouchers having maximum retail price (MRP) of Rs 20 and above. It is to continue with the existing ceiling of Rs 2 in respect of top up vouchers having MRP of less than Rs 20. TRAI exempted the top up vouchers of smaller denominations from hike in processing fee in order to protect interests of marginal and low usage subscribers.

It directed all telecom service providers to provide consumers with at least one top up voucher priced at Rs 10 when it noticed that top up vouchers priced below Rs 20 are not available with some service providers.

The order was issued after telecom industry body COAI and AUSPI made written submission to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India arguing that there have been inflationary pressures over the last three years ever since the ceiling of Rs 2 was prescribed by TRAI. It was also pointed out that COAI that the rising cost of providing services by way of hike in salaries and wages, increased transportation and diesel cost and so in support of raising the fee.



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