Each unsolicited call made or SMS sent by a telemarketing company may cost it Rs 500 from September.
A notification by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Tuesday, called the 'Telecom Unsolicited Commercial Communications Regulations, 2007', said a telephone registry would become operational within the next 90 days, where all those who do not want to be disturbed by 'telebotherers', can submit their landline and mobile numbers.
Any company found calling or sending an SMS to the numbers registered with what is being called the National Do Not Call (NDNC) Registry, will be warned the first time, and penalised Rs 500 per call, if it repeats the offence. A third unwanted call to the same number and its telephone link will be snapped.
Similar registries have been set up in many other countries, including the United States.
The money collected in fines will be used to run the registry. The National Informatics Centre will install and operate the registry.
TV Ramachandran of Cellular Operators Association of India, said, “If clear directions are given, we will welcome the step.”
To register with the NDNC Registry, a telephone subscriber must inform his telecom-service provider. The subscriber’s number will be entered in the registry within a maximum 45 days from the date of registration of his request.
Service providers will have to set up call centres with toll-free telephone lines to receive these requests from their subscribers. They must then forward the requests to the registry.
Thus telemarketers will have to submit their calling lists periodically to the NDNC — which will mark the numbers that should not be called.
All telemarketers will also be required to register with the DoT within three months, or at least obtain a provisional registration with their telecom-service providers.