A parliamentary panel has asked the Telecom Department to "act swiftly" and bring suitable amendments in Trai Act in order to empower the authority to effectively regulate the sector.
In its latest report, the Standing Committee on IT, recounted its past recommendation on the issue, where it had "noted with concern" that while Trai had the mandate to protect the interest of consumer and service provider, it has not been vested with requisite powers to enforce its regulations and directions.
"Considering the fact that huge responsibility is cast on Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) to protect the interest of service providers and consumers, the committee had recommended that Trai needs to be vested with requisite powers to enforce the regulations and directions relating to quality of service," the Standing Committee on IT said in the 43rd report.
The committee observed from the action taken report of the Telecom Department that Trai had submitted a proposal in June 2016 which related to enforcement of regulations, directions and orders of the authority.
"The committee also noted that further information and comments sought by the Department of Telecom (DoT) have also been duly furnished by Trai and the same are under examination and consideration of the DoT," it said.
It felt that in the interest of the industry, DoT needs to "act swiftly in the matter and bring in suitable amendments in the Trai Act so as to empower Trai to effectively regulate the sector".
It further asserted that the proposal submitted by the regulator in this regard should be considered "in a positive and time-bound manner".
The issue of amendment to Trai Act came to fore after Supreme Court in May 2016 quashed a Trai order which mandated mobile service providers to compensate Re 1 for every call drop with a maximum of Rs 3 a day.
The regulator consequently proposed certain amendments in Trai Act that among others provisions would confer powers to take measures to protect the interest of consumers including award of compensation and mechanism for complaint redressal, the report observed.
The committee, in the original report, had also observed that Trai should have penal powers including powers to impose financial penalties.
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