Paper Bills For Phone Users Mandatory, e-Bills Optional; TRAI Refuses To Save Trees & Environment
While the nation is trying to progress digitally, this doesn't seem right!
Technology has progressed at an incredible rate and yet here is TRAI, apparently going backward. TRAI has come up with a new rule that telecom operators will have to continue sending hard copies of bills to the customers, free of cost.
TRAI doesn’t seem to have considered the negative effect this decision might have on the environment. Read on to know all about TRAI’s decision!
Operators to Send Printed Bills To Customers
After reviewing the provisions of sending hard copies of bills to the customers with prepaid accounts, TRAI said, “The current provision of providing a hard copy of the bill free of cost as default option as per present provisions shall continue.”
In an Open House Discussion in February, telecom operators asked The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to waive off the option of the compulsory sending printed bills to customers. The reasons for the operators behind this request are an environmental concern, cost savings, timely bill delivery. Also, 90 percent of postpaid account holders have already opted for the electronic mode of bills.
However, if a customer opts for an electronic receipt of the bill after payment instead of the hard copy, employees of telecom operators can provide them with the same after getting explicit consent from the consumers.
Stakeholders also pressed another point which said that the choice of printing the bills will be left up to the customers because many of them would require a physical bill for many purposes. One of these cases includes claiming input credit of the goods and services tax.
TRAI’s Decision For The Less E-literate
India is keen on going paperless which is evident through the recent cashless transactions, digital payment options, but TRAI has insisted on sending out printed bills to the customers.
Apparently, TRAI has passed this rule considering the population of India that is not familiar with the technological advancements, for people who are not e-literate.
What about the wastage of paper? And the trees thereby? TRAI has said that the paper industry in India is not forest-based, but there are 5 lakh farmers who employ themselves in this industry and that 90 percent of the industry’s requirement for wood is outsourced.
Sending the customers a printed bill will also be free of cost, as the telecom operators are not to exercise any extra fees for sending printed bills.
Is TRAI’s decision of continuation of printed bills justified? Share your opinions with us right here in the comments section.