Cable TV

Group of ministers slated to meet on DTH this week

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NEW DELHI: The coming week is likely to prove crucial for DTH wannabes with the group of ministers slated to meet. The group consisting of defence, communications, home, finance and information and broadcasting ministers George Fernandes, Jagmohan, L.K. Advani, Yashwant Sinha and Pramod Mahajan has its task cut out for itself. Mahajan?s (see following interview) statement that the DTH ban issued a couple of years ago should be lifted has run into opposition from both business and political groups. Some pressure groups have claimed that the ban is being lifted at Star TV's behest while others have demanded that a regulatory structure be created before giving DTH the go-ahead.

The decision to lift the ban, however, has support from Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee who believes that technology has to make its way into India. The group of ministers will hence discuss the strategy to be taken to get the DTH decision passed by an executive order with a minimum of fuss and opposition from other political and business groups. Mahajan is known to be quite emphatic on drawing up programming and advertising codes, apart from speeding up uplinking from Indian shores. The passage of these regulations will decide the rapidity with which DTH will be given the go-ahead.

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