More reports on: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
TRAI proposes non-refundable licence fees news
27 March 2012

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) might propose that licence fees paid by telecom operators would continue to be non-refundable, a move that might not go well with operators, especially after the cancellation of licences following the 2G spectrum.

On 2 February, the Supreme Court cancelled 122 2G licences provided after January 2008 on grounds they were issued in a ''totally arbitrary and unconstitutional'' manner. The court also directed TRAI to make fresh recommendations 2G licence allocations (See: SC cancels all 2G licences, orders fresh spectrum auction).

Under the current rules, license fees cannot be refunded, TRAI said in its draft response on exit policy issued late on Monday. TRAI would also recommend that there is no need for any separate exit policy for incumbents after the Supreme Court order.

''A licensee can surrender its license by giving a notice of at least 60 calendar days in advance, shall continue to be applicable," it added.

TRAI had sought comments from the industry on the exit policy, and the responses along with its proposals would be submitted to the government by 5 April. It is up to the telecom ministry to accept to reject the proposals.

Under current rules, one-time entry fees paid by operators are not refundable. Following the 2G scam, affected companies, especially their foreign partners, had sought refund of the licence fees.

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TRAI proposes non-refundable licence fees