The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been periodically revising the tariff ceilings for cable TV services through non- addressable systems, since 2004.
These revisions are based on inflation linked adjustments. However, such revisions could not be undertaken for the last five years because the matter was pending in the Supreme Court.
Today, through the notification of the tariff order namely Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) services (Second) tariff (Eleventh Amendment) Order, 2014, TRAI has allowed 15 per cent inflation linked hike in the tariff ceilings. These revisions are applicable both at the wholesale and retails levels. This is the first of the two instalments the authority has decided to allow.
Based on the rise in the wholesale price index over the last five years, an overall 27.5 per cent inflation hike is to be allowed. However, the Authority is of the view that a hike to the tune of 27.5 per cent in a single instalment would not be appropriate for the market and the consumers to adjust to. Therefore, the authority has prescribed this hike to be implemented in two instalments.
The first instalment of 15 per cent shall be effective from April 1st, 2014. The second instalment for the remaining inflation linked increase should be made effective from January 1st, 2015, and shall be notified subsequently. This is expected to give enough and reasonable time to all the stakeholders to adjust to these hikes.