Will be passed on to consumers, mainly in non-metros and small towns, in two phases

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has granted permission to cable operators to hike rates of cable TV in non-digitised areas. Starting mid-April, the hike will be passed on to consumers, mainly in non-metros and small towns, in two phases.

“Based on the rise in the wholesale price index (WPI) over the last five years and considering the other relevant factors, the authority has come to a conclusion that overall 27.5 per cent inflation hike is to be allowed,” a TRAI statement said.

Noting that the hike in a single go would not be appropriate for the market and the consumers to adjust to, the TRAI further said: “The authority has prescribed this hike to be implemented in two instalments. The first instalment of 15 per cent shall be effective from April 15, 2014. The second instalment for the remaining inflation-linked increase shall be notified subsequently. This is expected to give enough and reasonable time to all the stakeholders to adjust to these hikes.”

The prices of cable TV have not been revised since 2004. “These revisions are based on inflation-linked adjustments. However, such revision could not be undertaken for the last five years because the matter was pending in the Supreme Court,” it added. The regulator had sought the Supreme Court’s permission to review rates by making adjustments for inflation.

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