New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today said processing fee levied on top-up vouchers should not exceed 10% of maximum retail price of coupon or Rs3, whichever is less, a move which would provide relief to prepaid users recharging with lower denomination top-up vouchers.“A nominal fee, not exceeding 10% of maximum retail price of top-up voucher or Rs3, whichever is less, shall be levied towards administrative cost or expenses for each top-up voucher,” Trai said in its Telecommunication Tariff (Fifty Third Amendment) Order, 2012. At present, processing fee charged for top-ups of Rs20 and above is Rs3, while for top-ups below Rs20, it is Rs2. Processing fee is included in the MRP of a recharge coupon used by prepaid mobile service users in the country.More than 90% of mobile phone users in the country are estimated to be prepaid users.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has undertaken a review through a consultation process and has decided to rationalise the structure of the processing fee. For the ceiling tariff for calls made and SMS sent to participate in contests and competitions and voting, Trai has decided to keep the tariff for such premium services under forbearance. Trai in April, 2012 had notified that calls made and SMS sent to participate in contests and competitions and voting shall not be charged more than four times of applicable local charges. However, the operators said that these provisions would be difficult to implement and the authority should have a re-look at these provisions. Trai than issued a consultation paper in August, 2012 for such services suggesting a ceiling of Rs3 for calls (per minute) and per SMS or doing away with the tariff ceiling for such calls and SMSs.