False Charge

A consumer lobby on Monday argued in the Court of Appeal that approval for Sri Lanka Telecom’s last tariff increase was not within the telecom watchdog’s authority. A consumer lobby on Monday argued in the Court of Appeal that approval for Sri Lanka Telecom’s last tariff increase was not within the telecom watchdog’s authority. The Consumer Association of Lanka is asking the Courts to reverse the telecom regulator approved tariff increase which came into effect from September 1, 2003.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission will argue its case on May 27, while Sri Lanka Telecom will present its defence on June 2.

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

The lobby had also argued 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 also bakes that argument saying that there were no losses to warrant a tariff increase in 2003.

The lobby had also raised the iss