West Bengal Govt presses for cable TV digitisation to be extended

MUMBAI: The cable TV digitisation will face opposition from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee who recently walked out of the UPA government alliance over reform policies like FDI hike in retail.

The West Bengal government has requested the centre to extend deadline for cable digitisation following a meeting with local cable operators and multi-system operators.

"The state government has requested the Centre to extend the deadline for digitisation," Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim told reporters in Kolkata after the meeting.

During the meeting, the LCOs and MSOs had expressed inability to meet the deadline contending that they had received only 40-50 per cent set-top boxes (STBs).

Hakim said the government should manufacture STBs instead of importing them.

The cable operators from Kolkata had recently disputed government figures on digitisation which said that 67 per cent of Kolkata households have been digitised till mid-September.

In a related development, the Cable Operators Association of Kolkata has threatened of a protest the government‘s decision to digitise cable TV network. The COAK has alleged that the government‘s decision is a hurried one and ignores real issues faced by cable operators.

The association has alleged that the government was working for vested interest of the multinational, corporates and not for the small businessman like Cable operators.

The digitisation deadline has already been extended once from 30 June to 1 October to give enough time to operators to seed the STBs, a critical element in the digitisation process.

Also Read:Cable TV digitisation could face political storm in 2 metros, Mamata Banerjee raises voice

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