Relief for mobile users, TRAI conditions on telemarketing calls


New Delhi : Much to the relief of India's millions of telephone users, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Tuesday announced strict regulations on unsolicited commercial calls (UCC).

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The regulations, effective from Tuesday, will enable the consumers who do not wish to receive commercial calls to register their telephone numbers with their service provider for inclusion in the National Do Not Call (NDNC) Registry, said a statement from the telecom watchdog.

The NDNC registry, which would be operational in three months, will be installed, operated and maintained by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) as authorised by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The telemarketers will have to check the registry before calling any numbers. If a number registered with NDNC is called up, the telemarketer would be disconnected of telecom service. A fine of Rs.500 will be imposed for each such call.

According to the TRAI, only those calls would be regarded as unsolicited commercial calls (UCC), which promote or inform of any commercial transaction related to goods, investment or services.

This would, however, not include such calls or messages related to a service or financial transaction under a specific contract, or anything related to charities, national campaign or messages transmitted on the government's directive or any agency authorised by it.

Telecom service providers have been asked to set up the call centres with toll-free telephone lines to receive requests from their subscribers who want to register in the NDNC. They will also be required to update the registry periodically.

The TRAI has also asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks' Association (IBA) to ensure that all telemarketers employed by the banking sector should have a valid registration certificate issued by the DoT.

It has also requested the telemarketers engaged by the banks to register themselves with DoT within three months.