TRAI proposes review of processing fee on Top Up recharges

It seems the telecom watchdog in India; Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is not happy with the present structure of processing fee on talk time top up vouchers and has invited comments from the public on reviewing it.


TRAI feels that “the present system of charging of processing fee is evidently regressive and against the principle of equity. It stands in the way of enhancement of the ability of the poorer sections of the society to benefit from technology.”

And to check this regressive structure, TRAI has proposed to review the present structure of processing fee on talk time top up vouchers with a view to make it more equitable and to make telecom services more affordable especially to the lower end subscribers.
According the existing level of processing fee is 20% on a top up voucher of Rs.10, and this level goes on decreasing with an increase in MRP of the top up voucher and becomes 0.3% on top up voucher of Rs.1000.
And in order to check this 20% of level of processing fee, TRAI has suggested three options:
  • To introduce a tiered structure for levying processing fees; 
  • Introduce a processing fee ad valorem at 10 per cent of MRP with a ceiling of Rs. 3 and
  • Doing away with the processing fee

TRAI has also invited review of the charges of Premium service and has suggested that either a ceiling of Rs 3 for calls (per minute) and per SMS be implemented or instead do away with the tariff ceiling for such calls and SMSs.