Concerned over widespread complaints from consumers across the country about excess billing, incessant call-drops and poor quality of services, telecom operators have ben summoned by the government on Monday to review the situation and find remedies.
The meeting is to be chaired by Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg, official sources said, adding that a letter has been dispatched on the matter, a copy of which was obtained by IANS.
"It has been decided to hold a meeting to review the quality of service issues related to excess billing, non-transparency in billing system, frequent call drops, etc. in the telecom networks of respective licensed service with special emphasis on Mumbai, Maharashtra and Delhi," it said.
The letter further asked all the relevant chief executives or chairpersons and managing directors of both the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam, as also the private players to make it convenient to attend the meeting.
Subscribers across the country have been complaining about constant call drops for months now. India has 987 million telecom subscribers.
Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had directed his ministry officials to hold an immediate meeting Friday to expedite the process of improving the reach and quality of telecom signal from the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam.
According to officials, Prasad also wanted them to have a face-to-face interaction with members of parliament, to not only make them answerable but also spell out their problems and come up with possible solutions.
Following the meeting, officials said, the scope of such an interaction has been expanded.
"Members of parliament from the states of Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and North Eastern states were invited in yesterday's meeting," an official statement said, adding that the lawmakers were also apprehensive about private players "obstructing the growth" of the state-run firm.
"Prasad has directed the department to call five such meetings so that all members of parliament are given an opportunity to raise issues directly with the officials concerned," the statement added.
The telecom department has also been asked to explore the possibility of setting up a dedicated cell in the state-run telecom company to monitor the effectiveness of its network in the border areas and those affected by extremism.
The lawmakers said they would arrange for land for the state-run companies to set up the towers to improve the quality of service, as also funds from their allocated kitty. They however wanted officials of the home and defence ministries to be present as well to address the problems.