The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has said on Monday that it proposes to recommend to the government that there is no need for separate exit policy for operators who want to move out of business.
“Based on the comments received from stakeholders and keeping in view the on’ble Supreme Court Judgement of 2nd February 2012, the Authority proposes to recommend to the Government that there is no need for separate Exit Policy, that the entry fee paid by the licensees will continue to be non-refundable. Present conditions in various licences with regard to surrender of licences, whereby licensee can surrender its licence by giving a notice of at least 60 calendar days in advance, shall continue to be applicable” The regulator said in a statement.
TRAI had earlier issued a pre-consultation paper on ‘Exit-Policy for various telecom licences’ on 6th January 2012 seeking views from all the stakeholders on issues like implications, advantages and disadvantages, to the individual licensees, to the government revenues and to the telecom sector as a whole.
The process for the need for the exit policy was set rolling after the department of telecommunications (DoT) requested on 23 December that the need for an exit policy arose from Trai’s initial recommendations on spectrum management and licencing framework, in 2010.
“The provision for surrender of licence is already prescribed in the draft guidelines. As such, the authority does not find any justification for a separate exit policy in case of Unified Licensing Regime,” Trai said in its draft response to the government.
Several stakeholders favour refunds on a pro-rata basis, subject to fulfilment of licence conditions. Stakeholders have suggested that an operator be allowed to exit after giving adequate notice to subscribers and clearing all dues, and that the amount of refund may vary depending on the status of spectrum allocation, Trai said in its response, the draft response said.
Stakeholders have been requested to provide their comments/views on this proposed response of Authority by April 5, 2012.