Notice to 10 mobile companies to bar them from charging extra for SMSes

A petitioner contended that mobile companies offered attractive packages while enrolling customers, including 200 free SMS at Re1 a day, 50 paise per SMS but later announced they would maintain special SMS tariffs on 31st December

Madurai: The Madras High Court bench on Wednesday issued notice to 10 mobile companies on a petition seeking to bar them from charging extra for SMSes during festival seasons and important days, reports PTI.

The bench issued notice while admitting a petition by a lawyer, seeking a direction to the companies and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) not to hike the tariff for this period.

Petitioner Arunachalam also sought an interim stay on undue and sudden hike on SMS charges during important festivals and special occasions like New Year’s eve on 31 December 2011 and 1 January 2012.

He contended that mobile companies offered attractive packages while enrolling customers, including 200 free SMS at Re1 a day, 50 paise per SMS but later announced they would maintain special SMS tariffs on 31 December.

This forced users to restrict SMS and curtailed private space and free communication on important festival days. TRAI was also not taking steps to control it, he alleged.

He said mobile operators, regardless of tariff plans would charge Rs1.50 per SMS on 31st December, “which is unfair”. Last year SMS revenue of the companies was Rs100 crore, he claimed.

The petitioner said users are being charged extra at a time when they want to use their mobiles the most, “fully violating natural justice and rights given in the constitution.”

Among important days on which extra tariff was collected was Pongal, Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, Independence Day and Diwali, he said.

The bench after hearing him, ordered notice to the TRAI chairperson and zonal/regional managers of 10 companies Bharti Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone, Reliance, Idea Cellular, Unitech, Tata DoCoMo, MTS mobile, BSNL mobile and Videocon and posted the case for further hearing on 21 January 2012.

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COMMENTS

Vikas Gupta

5 years ago

Khudos to the petitioner. Atleast somebody has dared to fight the nexus of telecom companies. I fully agree with him that when we want to use SMS maximum, they are charged at maximum rates.

RBI extends short sale of G-Sec to 3 months

With a view to providing a fillip to the IRF (interest rate future) market and the term repo market, it is proposed to extend the period of short sale from the existing five days to a maximum period of three months, the RBI said

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday said it has decided to extend the period of short sale of government bonds to a maximum period of three  months from existing limit of five days, reports PTI.

Short selling means selling securities which are not owned by the seller at the time of selling in order to buy it at lower prices later.

It has been decided to extend the period of short sale from the existing five days to a maximum period of three months (including the day of trade), effective from 1 February 2012, RBI said in a notification.

Participants undertaking short selling should ensure that these transactions are in conformity with fair market practices and are conducted in a transparent manner, it said.

In this connection, it said, participants may review their systems and controls to ensure that the same are appropriate to prevent market abuse like use of insider information, spreading of false or misleading information, distortion of the price-discovery mechanism, etc, for personal gains.

Further, participants shall also report to RBI any suspected cases of market abuse regardless of whether it was by their own employee, client or other market participant, it said.

Based on the recommendations of the Technical Group on the Central Government Securities Market, intraday short selling in central government securities was permitted in February 2006.

Subsequently, based on the feedback received, the period of short sale was extended to five days in January 2007, it had said.

With a view to providing a fillip to the IRF (interest rate future) market and the term repo market, it is proposed to extend the period of short sale from the existing five days to a maximum period of three months, it had said.

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RBI allows co-op banks to fix NRE deposit rates

RBI issued two separate circulars addressed to primary urban co-operative banks and state and central co-operative banks allowing them to fix interest rates on various non-resident deposit schemes, a move intended attract more funds from NRIs and arrest the slide in rupee in the forex market

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday allowed co-operative and primary urban co-operative banks to fix their interest rates on various non-resident deposit schemes, reports PTI.

Extending the ambit of its recent decision to deregulate deposit rates, RBI said, “Banks are free to determine their interest rates on both savings deposits and term deposits of maturity of one year and above under Non-Resident (External) Rupee deposit accounts and savings deposits under Ordinary Non-Resident accounts with immediate effect.”

RBI issued two separate circulars addressed to primary urban co-operative banks and state and central co-operative banks.

The apex bank, earlier this month, freed interest rates on various non-resident deposit schemes by scheduled commercial banks, a move intended attract more funds from NRIs and arrest the slide in rupee in the forex market.

It had also put restrictions on forward contract in rupee to check speculations in the forex market.

RBI had already freed the saving and deposit rates for resident bank customers.

The deregulation in rates on NRE and NRO deposits is intended to make such funds more attractive at a time when the rupee has depreciated sharply during last few months.

RBI in its last monetary review said it is closely watching the rupee situation and will respond to it as appropriate.

The rupee has depreciated by over 15% in 2011 so far against the US dollar.

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