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DoT’s clarity on EMF audit fees to facilitate ease of doing business: COAI

NEW DELHI: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT)’s clarity on the EMF audit fees is a positive move that aligns with the Centre’s efforts to facilitate ease of doing business (EODB) in the telecom sector, according to the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).

The telecom department, in an order issued on January 18, 2023, has clarified the applicable fees for EMF audit tests conducted by telecom service providers.

“DoT’s order is based on the Hon’ble Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal’s (TDSAT) ruling passed in favor of the telecom industry dated 30.10.2018, in Petition No. 500/2014 filed by COAI and other telecom operators V/s Uol on the issue of charging the test fees in the case of EMF testing/audit conducted by field units of DoT,” said the industry association in a statement on Wednesday.

COAI represents telecom operators Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

The telecom operators are required to pay a testing fee for the EMF testing/audits conducted by the field units to DoT. This amount was Rs 10,000 earlier and accordingly paid by the telecom companies.

“Considering the ruling of TDSAT on 08.02.2019, DoT issued instructions on the issue that the pending demand of testing fees since 20.11.2014 (date on which Hon’ble TDSAT had passed interim stay in the matter), shall be revised and charged at the rate of INR 4000 per test,” COAI said.

In its order on January 18, the telecom department further clarified that the closed demands of the testing fees i.e., demands raised by DoT after November 20, 2014, and having been paid by the licensees in entirety, shall be revised and charged at the rate of Rs 4,000 per test. Also, the excess amount arising from those closed demands, if any, shall be adjusted against the pending/future testing charges.

“The industry is delighted with this pro-development measure which is in the spirit of the Government’s efforts towards facilitating ease of doing business,” said COAI.

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