Paper mills see red as Trai dubs phone bills as anti-green

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Thiruvananthapuram | Published: November 21, 2018 4:02:31 AM

Paper mills are irked at telecom service providers labelling paper as anti-green.

trai, telecom regulator trai, sucA mobile phone user, too, might like the service provider to send him the printed bill, said Saurabh Bangur, who?s also vice-chairman, West Coast Paper Mill.

Paper mills are irked at telecom service providers labelling paper as anti-green. In a communique to Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) this week, Ipma (Indian Paper Manufacturers Association) has expressed strong reservations against dubbing printed copy of telephone bill as a matter of “environmental concern.”

“Wood constitutes just 30% of the paper and the rest are agri-residue or old paper, often fully recycled. Why is that the damage to environment by e-waste always underrated? And, paper industry, which is greening the country, has to to take all the flak,” Saurabh Bangur, president, Ipma told FE.

Ipma has written to the telecom watchdog, asking mobile companies to spare paper from the list of reasons to migrate to digitisation. “Intensive efforts by paper mills over the last several years have cumulatively brought about 900,000 hectares under plantation and 1,25,000 hectares are covered under agro-forestry, on an annual basis,” said Rohit Pandit, secretary-general, Ipma, in the letter to Trai.

What angered the paper mills was that Trai had released a consultation paper on ‘Review of extant provision for sending the printed bills to consumers of landline and postpaid mobile subscribers’, soliciting views of all concerned.

This was in response to the representations from telecom firms, seeking review of the provision to give printed copy of the bill to postpaid subscribers. Instead, they had wanted to set e-bill as the default option. As the rationale for the demand, the telecom firms had mentioned “cutting of trees for paper used in printing of bills”.

A mobile phone user, too, might like the service provider to send him the printed bill, said Saurabh Bangur, who’s also vice-chairman, West Coast Paper Mill.

“How inconvenient it would be for a guy to take a print of his 7-page e-phone bill to verify the calls break-up and charges?” he argues, stressing the consumer angle.

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