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|March 10, 1999||
Telephone tariff hike order put on hold
The government today kept in abeyance the proposed hike in telecom tariffs announced by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India yesterday.
Communications Minister Jagmohan made this announcement in the Lok Sabha, the Indian Parliament's lower house.
Jagmohan assured members that the government would take note of their protests.
Later, when the house was debating the Patent Bill, Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee announced that her party would boycott the session until the proposed hike is withdrawn.
Banerjee was not present in the house during zero hour.
Yesterday, TRAI, the statutory body with powers to fix telecom tariffs, announced an increase in monthly rentals from Rs 190 to Rs 250 with effect from April 1, 1999.
The authority also revised the local call charges upward and reduced the free calls from 150 to 120 bi-monthly.
For cellular subscribers, monthly rental was fixed much higher at Rs 600 as against Rs 150 earlier. However, the peak rate for cell phones was reduced to Rs 6 per minute.
The TRAI has also proposed increased rentals in 2000 and 2001, keeping in view inflation and other factors.
'Hello' to cost more
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