As the number of consumer complaints tends to rise in the telecom sector, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has floated a consultation paper over setting up of a consumer grievance redressal mechanism for the sector. The regulator has sought public opinion on setting up of an ombudsman in the sector for speedy resolution of rising subscriber complaints over issues such as wrong billing and poor service quality. At present, only banking and insurance sectors in India are having ombudsmen. The consultation paper seeks public views on a range of issues, including creation of a legal framework, its structure, funding, types of complaints that it should handle, its powers, functions, and responsibilities. TRAI has also asked stakeholders to give their opinion on whether there is a need for setting up a separate, independent, and empowered structure to resolve these complaints. TRAI has, in effect, revived its 2004 recommendation – to establish an ombudsman to handle unresolved complaints in the sector – a suggestion which, at that time, had not been favored by the government.

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