Decision on Arasu DAS licence will depend on Govt. view on Trai report

NEW DELHI: The Government has said the application by the Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable Television Corporation Ltd. for issuance of a digital addressable system licence is under consideration.

However, Information and Broadcasting Ministry sources said that the application was being examined in the light of the report of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) which is opposed to granting licences for television channels or distribution networks owned or supported by state governments or political parties.

The sources also said that no time frame could be given for a final decision on the application for registration as multi-system operator received on 5 July last year to operate in notified areas of Chennai.

A newly constituted Inter-Ministerial Committee was currently examining the recommendations of Trai in its report in mid-December reiterating its stand taken in 2008, and so a decision on Arasu would be taken only after this process is finalised.

Chaired by the Additional Secretary of the I&B Ministry, the IMC has representatives of the Departments of Information Technology, Telecommunications, Economic Affairs, and Industrial Policy and Promotion apart from some experts. The representatives of these Ministries should be of a rank not lower than Joint Secretary.

The two Joint Secretaries (Broadcasting) in the I&B Ministry serve as member secretaries depending on the subject and section concerned.

The experts are: Chairman and Managing Director of the Broadcasting Engineering Consultants India Ltd., the Director-Generals of Doordarshan and All India Radio, and the Engineers-in-Chief of DD and AIR.

The Committee may co-opt any number considered necessary from time to time.

Recommendations of the IMC would be communicated to the I&B Ministry Secretary and ‘thereafter to the Minister for instructions on matters relating to the recommendations of Trai.

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