The government has issued close to 45,000 notices to unregistered telemarketers and disconnected nearly 28,000 telephones till April 24 for sending pesky calls and SMSs using private numbers.
"The government is aware that several calls and SMSs are being sent from private numbers... 44,810 notices have been issued to unregistered telemarketers and 27,984 telephones have been disconnected till April 24, since inception of the regulation," telecom minister Kapil Sibal has informed Parliament.
In order to put curbs on such communications, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had issued 'The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010', which came into force from September 27, 2011.
The regulation says that if an unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) originates from a subscriber who is not registered with the regulator as a telemarketer, the service provider shall issue a disconnection notice to that subscriber. On second offence, the service would be disconnected.
To facilitate easy identification, the telemarketers registered with Trai are allocated numbers series '140'.
Subscribers can register with the National Customer Preference Register (NCPR) to either bar all commercial communication under the 'Fully Blocked' category, or be in the 'Partially Blocked' category, where he/she will receive SMSs in categories chosen.
The regulation also prescribes a cap of 200 SMSs per day per SIM to deter sending of bulk unwanted SMSs by private numbers.
In case of violation of regulation by registered telemarketers, Trai has recommended penalty ranging between Rs. 25,000 to 2.5 lakh for a violation.