CAN welcomes basic tier pricing post-CAS, cautions government to stay on alert on implementation

MUMBAI:It's once again the turn of the Consumer Action Network (CAN) to air its views on conditional access. CAN president Ahmed M Abdi has welcomed the proposal before the government (pushed by the broadcasters) to fix the price of free-to-air television channels at Rs 40 per household per month.

Says Abdi in a press release: "This is a price affordable by poorest of the poor sections of our society and the government should not come under pressure of cable operators who want to increase this price to Rs 250(?) for the free to air bouquet. Cable operators are free to make profits from the generation of revenue from pay channels, which would be subscribed to by the affordable section of the society, and it is duty of the Govt. to come to rescue of the general public comprising of poor section of the society having limited avenues for entertainment."

Abdi has also cautioned the government to keep a close watch on cable ops, as they would try and arm twist cable TV viewers into subscribing to pay TV services by depriving them of basic free to air services if they don't take up pay TV services. "If any such cases come to light, the government should act tough by labelling it a cognizable and non-bailable offence authorising the local police to initiate action as per law," he says. "It is essential that a regulatory body be constituted and be empowered to look into the problems that consumers face and also take timely decisions."

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