Ruling out further delay, IT and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Saturday said regulator Trai's recommendations on unsolicited calls and SMSes will come into effect from Febuary 1, 2011.
Replying to a question on whether the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) guidelines will be implemented on time after it has suffered a one-month delay, Sibal said, "Yes. This will be implemented from February 1, 2011. And if any operator has any issue it will be resolved."
On December 28, 2010, Trai had postponed the January deadline to stop unsolicited calls and SMSes till February 1 due to security-related issues.
The regulator had added that with regard to security audit of the website and other processes involved, it is necessary to re-determine the dates for implementation of the aforesaid regulations.
On December 1, 2010, the Trai had came out with guidelines on unsolicited telemarketing calls and SMSes, to be implemented from January 1, 2011.
As per the guidelines, the Trai had said a hefty penalty of up to Rs 2.50 lakh will be imposed for violation of the telemarketing guidelines, which could be followed by blocking repeat offenders' connections.
A different set of numbers starting with '70' will be issued to telemarketers to help unregistered subscribers identify commercial calls and decide whether to accept or reject such calls.
Unlike the previous guidelines, which only provided for a 'Do Not Call' Registry, the new regulations issued today give customers different options to avoid unsolicited calls.
The subscriber can now choose to be listed under the "fully blocked" category -- which is akin to the 'Do Not Call' Registry -- or the "partially blocked" category, in that case he/she will only receive SMSes in the categories chosen by him/her.
Trai has identified seven categories for telemarketing calls, including banking and financial products, real estate, education, health, consumer goods, automobiles, communication, entertainment, tourism and leisure.