Borrowing Time

Sri Lanka Telecom and the industry watchdog will make further submissions in the District Courts in mid-June to defend the incumbent fixed line operator’s last tariff hike. Sri Lanka Telecom and the industry watchdog will make further submissions in the District Courts in mid-June to defend the incumbent fixed line operator’s last tariff hike. The Court has asked the regulator to revert back with affidavits to prove it consulted and cleared the tariff hike with the telecom ministry before it cleared Sri Lanka Telecom to go ahead with the tariff hike.

The Consumer Association of Lanka, which filed the case is asking the Courts to reverse the telecom regulator approved tariff increase that was put into effect from September 1, 2003.

The consumer lobby is arguing that the tariff hike increased the cost of a call above rates in the Asian region and that Sri Lanka Telecom’s claim of 200 free units included in its increased monthly rental was a misleading.

The lobby had also told the Court in its arguments that the telco giant had increased rates despite posting a Rs. 3 bn profit in 2003.

An expert report by a former head of the regulatory commission report