New Delhi : The Association of Radio Operators for India (AROI) had approached the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), questioning the formula followed by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) to calculate the Non-refundable One Time Migration Fee (NOTMF) for radio operators migrating from FM Phase 2 to Phase 3.
MIB had written a letter to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) dated 8th October seeking TRAI’s comments on the methodology followed by it for calculation of migration fee for existing cities and to confirm whether the Ministry had done the calculation of city wise migration fee as per TRAI’s recommendations.
TRAI Secretary Sudhir Gupta has now written a letter to his counterpart in MIB, Sunil Arora, to address the above matter, wherein he mentioned that after examining the methodology of calculation of NOTMF in city groups X, Y, and Z, TRAI reckoned that methodology followed by MIB for calculation of NOTMF was in accordance with TRAI’s recommendation dated 20th February 2014. However, TRAI didn’t vouch for the arithmetic accuracy of city-wise NOTMF calculated by MIB nor did it look into the city wise prices determined through auction process.
AROI in its representation had indicated two concerns in respect of calculation of NOTMF by MIB. In the first case, it cited the example of Shimla, where the methodology was in line with TRAI’s recommendations.
In the second case, AROI assumed zero per cent increase in reserve prices for 10 Z Group cities where auction was unsuccessful as no bids were received. In its reply, TRAI felt that the assumption of AROI was not tenable as the final prices for allocation of channels in such cities were yet to be determined. Thus, the request by AROI for review of NOTMF on this ground was deemed unacceptable by TRAI.
AROI had moved TDSAT challenging MIB’s NOTMF calculation formula on Tuesday, the matter will now come up for hearing on 28th October. Meanwhile, deadline for deposit of balance 75 per cent of NOTMF to Phase 3 had been extended till 28th October.