Indian telecom operators are going to benefit from the clarity that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has provided on the EMF audit fees. Telcos have to pay a certain fee to the DoT for EMF audits. This amount used to be Rs 10000 earlier and was accordingly paid by the telecom companies. DoT has said that the charges will be revised to Rs 4000 per test instead of Rs 10000. The decision from the DoT comes after the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) ruled in favour of the telecom industry, dated October 30, 2018. The petition was filed by the COAI and other telecom operators V/s UoI on the issue of charging the test fees in the case of EMF testing/audit conducted by the filed units of DoT.
TDSAT had passed an interim stay in the matter on November 20, 2014. Based on the order from TDSAT, DoT has issued instructions that the pending demand of testing fees shall be revised to Rs 4000 per test. Further, all the tests that happened after November 20, 2014, will also be revised to be charged at Rs 4000. Thus, any excess amount that arises will be adjusted against the pending/future testing charges.
This is a great relief for the telcos as it reduces their operational expenses and is in line with the government's efforts to make business easier for the telecom industry.
COAI said, "COAI had been strongly advocating on the issue and coordinating the same with the DoT, which has been receptive to the industry’s concerns and considered the same on merit to take this favourable decision. The industry is delighted with this pro-development measure which is in the spirit of the Government’s efforts towards facilitating ease-of-doing-business."
The debt-laden sector is currently rolling out 5G at a rapid pace throughout the nation, and developments such as this are going to aid the industry.