New Delhi: Admitting plea of BSNL over removal of Access Deficit Charge (ADC), the rural remuneration levy, telecom tribunal TDSAT on Monday issued notice to the sectoral regulator TRAI.
Issuing notice, Chairman of Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) Justice Arun Kumar also directed the regulator to file its reply within four weeks.
During the proceedings, counsel appearing for the PSU submitted that the regulator arbitrarily removed the ADC.
He said that despite the low cost service provided by the telecom giant, TRAI rejected it by saying that BSNL would not get a single penny after 2008.
“However when we put documents, then they only realised that BSNL was entitled for Rs 2,000 crore and it should be paid to us. That money should be paid to us to ensure a level playing field,” he said.
Opposing the TRAI’s contention that the loss suffered by the BSNL should be recovered by the government, through USO, BSNL’s counsel contended that they need money.
“We need the money... How can you put us on the mercy of a third party (DoT),” submitted BSNL’s counsel opposing TRAI suggestion to recover that from the government.
Opposing it, TRAI counsel Saket Singh submitted that ADC was a depleting regime and not fixed for ever. “Since 2003, when it was started it was known that it would come to an end,” contended TRAI’s counsel. However he also submitted that non profit rural operations need to be protected.
On this TDSAT Chairman Justice Kumar said, “you would have to do some thing. Private telecom operators would not go in rural areas just for charity”.