Final call by SC on SLT tariff revision
After a long legal battle, initiated by the Consumers’ Association of Lanka (CAL) in 2003 against Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) and its tariff implementation system, the Supreme Court finalised a settlement this week on telephone tariff reductions.
The new time based tariff structure is to be implemented effective from November 1, 2007.
In a press release, SLT said the adjusted tariff would represent no more than a maximum reduction of 9.03% of SLT's domestic telephone revenue which the company described as 'a fair compromise between the parties.'
Furthermore, it was also agreed that with regard to the limited period from January 1, 2007 to October 31, 2007, consumers would be given credit, equivalent to 8.72% of the monthly bills that had to be issued.
The credit will be shown in the November 2007, telephone bills. As part of the settlement, the TRC has also been instructed to issue a directive in accordance with the terms endorsed by the Supreme Court.
SLT had been trying to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal which had previously annulled the approval granted by the TRC for the telephone tariffs implemented by SLT in September 2003.
CAL Chairman, Peter Jayasekera filed action against SLT on behalf of his Association in 2003, claiming the company had excessively charged its subscribers and had implemented a tariff increase illegally. CAL also maintained that the conditions set out in the original license given to SLT by the TRC had been modified.
Even through the Court ordered SLT to refund the excess charged obtained from the tariff increase and had even deemed the company's actions to be 'illegal and unlawful', CAL and SLT were instructed to come to a settlement regarding the tariff charges.
SLT now says the matter has been 'settled between the parties in the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court directed that the Court of Appeal judgment would no longer be operative.' The company added that it is 'pleased to have finally and conclusively resolved this matter under the apex authority of the Supreme Court and is confident that this new tariff structure will be very attractive to its customers.'