With unsolicited calls and messages from telemarketing companies fast becoming a menace, the government is mulling over immediate corrective measures, particularly taking a tough stance against mobile operators as it feels the onus lies on them.
Communications and IT Minister A. Raja has written a note to Telecom Secretary P.J. Thomas, asking him to seek a reply from the operators what action they have taken to stop this nuisance, which he termed “intrusion of privacy” of subscribers.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has also been trying to evolve some mechanism to stop unwanted telemarketing.
The issue has again come to the limelight with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee expressing displeasure as he himself got one such call on Monday when he was at a meeting with Opposition leaders. MPs cutting across party lines have also voiced their concern.
“A wide range of products and services is nowadays offered through telemarketing which results in inconvenience and disturbance to telecom consumers. These calls are made at any time of the day encroaching on the privacy of consumers,” Mr. Raja said in his note. Notably, the ‘Do Not Call Registry' implemented after the TRAI's recommendation has not worked fully, while the regulator is now considering bringing in “Do Call Registry” for those willing to accept telemarketing calls.
Talking to The Hindu, Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot said the onus of curbing unsolicited and unwarranted calls and SMS lay on operators. As they had the list of subscribers, they should be ready to face action. “People not only lose precious time, it also hurts them financially when they receive such calls while on national or international roaming. It is unfair for operators to allow such calls.”