Regulators

TRAI issues paper aimed at resolving controversial AGR for broadcast, telecom

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/regulators-images/2014/07/31/35_3.jpg?itok=qhRMSbb4

NEW DELHI: Following a multitude of cases by both telecom and broadcast operators, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has initiated a review of the definition of Gross Revenue (GR) and the permissible deductions to arrive at Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) in the context of the National Telecom Policy 2012.

In a Consultation Paper on the subject, the Authority has examined the components of GR, AGR and minimum presumptive AGR, rates of Licence Fee and Spectrum Usage Charges, formats of statements of revenue and licence fee and audit and verifiability of revenue and licence fee.

Stakeholders are expected to respond to the 24 questions raised in the Consultation Paper by 1 September and counter-comments by 8 September. TRAI has made it clear that there will be no extension to these dates.

The paper on Definition of Revenue Base (AGR) for the Reckoning of Licence Fee and Spectrum Usage Charges will also examine the changes made in the licensing regime, the transition from the administrative allocation regime towards market-determined prices for spectrum, and the conclusion of tenure of many licences. The paper provides the relevant background information on the subject covering various issues involved.

On the definition of AGR specifically, the Authority had in 2012 recommended that only the revenue from the wireless services shall count towards AGR calculation for the limited purpose of calculation of Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC) that would continue to be determined on service area basis, and should be levied only in respect of those service areas where the Licensee holds any access spectrum.

TRAI wants to know whether there is a need to review/revise the definition of GR and AGR in the different licences at this stage; the guiding principles for designing the framework of the revenue sharing regime; and whether the rate of licence fee (LF) be reviewed instead of changing the definitions of GR and AGR, especially with regard to the component of USO levy, in the interest of simplicity, verifiability, and ease of administration.

The paper also wants to know whether the revenue base for levy of licence fee and spectrum usage charges include the entire income of the licensee or only income accruing from licenced activities if the definitions are to be reviewed/revised.

It has asked whether LF be levied as a percentage of GR in place of AGR in the interest of simplicity and ease of application, and should the revenue base for calculating LF and SUC include ‘other operating revenue’ and ‘other income’.

The Government prepared a draft licence agreement for International Long Distance (ILD) services in September, 2000 containing a provision that LF was payable as a percentage of revenue. For the Public Mobile Radio Trunk Service (PMRTS) too, the revenue share regime was made applicable from 1 November 2001.

The definition of AGR has been litigated since 2003. TSPs questioned the inclusion of various components of revenue in the reckoning of AGR as well as the legality of the definition before TDSAT. In 2006, TDSAT, after noting that revenue from non-licensed activities needed to be excluded from the reckonable revenue, asked TRAI to make recommendations on the inclusion or exclusion of the disputed items in the AGR. TRAI made its recommendations on 13 September 2006 and the Tribunal gave its final order in the matter on 30 August 2007 after accepting most (but modifying some) of TRAI’s recommendations.

In the course of finalising the recommendations of the Authority on the reference from TDSAT, the views of DoT were obtained by the Authority through its representative and incorporated in the “Recommendations on components of Adjusted Gross Revenue” dated 13 September 2006. The Authority was informed that the basic rationale adopted by the Government while formulating the definition of AGR was that it should be easy to interpret - so as to pose fewer problems in application and less disputes and litigations, and to make it less prone to reduction in LF liability by way of accounting jugglery; and it should be easy to verify.

The TDSAT’s judgment of 30 August 2007 was taken in appeal by DoT to the Supreme Court and was set aside by its judgment on 11 October 2011 on the grounds, among others, that TDSAT had no jurisdiction to decide the validity of the terms and conditions of the licence including the definition of AGR incorporated in the licence agreement. It was for DoT – and not TRAI and TDSAT – to take a final decision on the definition of AGR. The Supreme Court also held that a licensee can raise a dispute about the computation of AGR relating to a particular demand and that TDSAT can then examine whether the demand was in accordance with the licence agreement and the definition of AGR.

The judgment of the Supreme Court settled important points of law and has clarified the nature of the contractual relationship between the Government as licensor and the TSPs. The judgment also laid down the parameters of institutional responsibility in arriving at the contractual terms and conditions; it held that: litigation regarding the computation of LF continues before the TDSAT in the case of individual demands made on TSPs. It has also been reported that writ petitions re-agitating the revenue share definition have been filed by TSPs in different High Courts. 

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/17/Delhi%20High%20Court_0.jpg?itok=nX2vfRDC
Supreme Court flags privacy issues regarding WhatsApp, FB

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday sought the central government's response on a plea seeking to put in place regulation to protect the privacy of the messages of WhatsApp and Facebook users. The court also issued notices to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), online messaging...

Regulators Supreme Court
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/17/Delhi%20High%20Court.jpg?itok=rVxThse6
Why can't pvt FM channels have news, SC asks govt

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has asked the government to explain the continuing prohibition on FM radio stations and community radios from airing news and current affairs at par with private TV channels and the print media. The observation by the chief justice of India J.S. Khehar and Justice D.Y...

Regulators Supreme Court
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/16/trai1-800x800_0.jpg?itok=IO4icKXT
Tariff order: Don't notify without SC nod, TRAI told; Madras HC case to continue

Declining to stay proceedings in the Madras High Court, the Supreme Court today said the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India could continue with its work relating to consultation papers and tariff orders, but will not notify these without first referring them to the apex court.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/16/trai1-800x800.jpg?itok=93JTn8LR
TRAI regulations threaten investment, warns CASBAA

CASBAA, the Association of Asia’s pay-TV Industry, today warmly applauded the judicial review now under way in India of proposed extension and tightening of India’s pay-TV rate regulations.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/16/Surya%20Prakash-800x800.jpg?itok=vEGgQ0KH
'Risk' in FM stations airing news, apprehends Prasar head

MUMBAI: Prasar Bharati chairman A Surya Prakash has said permitting private FM stations to air news might have security implications and that the government needed to keep that in mind if it were to give them the nod. From the democracy perspective, the idea of permitting them looked ‘very simple...

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/16/TDSAT.jpg?itok=sVeMEYnl
Star India, Dhru Lucky settle case; TDSAT petition withdrawn

NEW DELHI: The dispute between Dhru Lucky Enterprise Pvt Ltd and Star India about renewal of lapsed agreements has been resolved and the multi-system operator has withdrawn its petition in the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal. Members B B Srivastava and A K Bhargava have...

Regulators TDSAT
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/14/VenkaiahNaidu-ChandrashekarRao.jpg?itok=2A1p1fJa
Int'l TV Fest: A-Pac Broadcasting Union's two India teams to participate

NEW DELHI: The ‘Aamad’ group and ‘Sadhya’ group from India will compete in the grand finale of the first edition of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) International Television Dance Festival (AIDF) in the city of the ‘Char Minar’ Hyderabad on 15 January 2017.

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/12/Supreme-court1.jpg?itok=ilFdCc7C
SC to MIB: Get mechanism to deal with complaints on TV, radio shows

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Central Government to set up a statutory mechanism to deal with citizens' complaints against TV and radio programmes.

Regulators Supreme Court
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/01/13/Siddharth-Roy-Kapoor%20-vijay-singh.jpg?itok=vtzh32Wh
Copyright owners call for competitive pricing over TRAI regulation

NEW DELHI: The Film and Television Producers Guild of India has expressed its voice against any mandated tariff as far as television channels are concerned.

Regulators TRAI

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories