CODA postpones agitation on Maharashtra cable TV entertainment tax

MUMBAI: The state of Maharashtra was to see a blackout of all news channels- Hindi, English and Marathi- from 15 July by all TV cable operators as a sign of protest in case the entertainment tax levied on them was not reduced. But that has not happened.

Reason: The Cable Operators and Distributors Association (CODA), which was demanding that it be shaved to Rs 15 per set top box or per subscriber from the Rs 45 charged currently, decided to be patient and hold on.

Says CODA president Anil Parab: "We sought an appointment from state revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat and he could only give it to us for next week. So we decided to defer our decision on the blackout till we meet him and gauge his response towards our demand."

Parab also stated that the assembly is on till 3 August so they have enough time to go ahead with their black out, in case they don‘t get Thorat‘s support.

The cable TV operator fraternity in Maharashtra say it is unnecessarily being burdened with high taxes even though digitisation has led to greater transparency and tax payouts by them. Delhi‘s entertainment tax is at Rs 20 while in other cities it is at zero to five per cent.

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