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Call anywhere in India at Re 1 per minute

The much-awaited OneIndia tariff plan by BSNL for fixed line calls to anywhere in India is to be announced on Friday.

india Updated: Feb 10, 2006 11:51 IST

The much-awaited OneIndia tariff plan by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) — Re 1 per minute for fixed line calls to anywhere in India — is to be announced on Friday, sources said.

Union Communications Minister Dayanidhi Maran, it is believed, is in a rush to push the scheme through before the Election Commission announces dates for polls in his home state of Tamil Nadu and enforces the model code of conduct. This, despite a projected loss of Rs 3,000-5,000 crore to BSNL because of the scheme, according to media reports.

BSNL’s mobile service subscribers are also likely to get a bonanza in the form of lower STD costs, lower local call pulse rates and revised monthly rentals.

Senior BSNL officials seem to have agreed on the call rate, rentals and compensation. But the decision on these rates doesn’t seem to be final, with officials booking a hotel for both Friday and Saturday in case the announcement has to be postponed because of the differences.

The media briefing scheduled last week had to be cancelled after Maran disagreed with the BSNL board over tariffs.

Earlier, Maran had asked BSNL to announce the launch of OneIndia on Republic Day, while BSNL officials had requested three to six months more.

BSNL sources said: “Even if the call rates are announced on Friday, customers may have to wait for the benefits. Since the accounting on revenue share is done on a quarterly basis, we have sought time till April 1. Rentals and local call rates have been restructured to give a cushion to the revenues, since it is difficult to predict whether the increase in call volumes to offset lower tariffs will materialise.”

BSNL Chairman and Managing Director AK Sinha and senior officials led by Maran held a series of meeting during the last few months to thrash out the OneIndia tariff.

One of the major proposals mooted by the Communications Ministry is making local calls free and hiking monthly rentals from Rs 180 to Rs 250-300. The proposal also includes a single call rate of 80 paise per minute with a 15-second pulse rate (as against existing 180-second pulse) for BSNL to BSNL landline or mobile calls anywhere in the country, and Re 1 for any other mobile.

First Published: Feb 10, 2006 02:18 IST