CAS Bill being considered by Rajya Sabha, says confident Swaraj

NEW DELHI: The government today said that the Cable Television Networks (Regulations) Bill, 1995, already passed by the Lok Sabha, is being considered by the Rajya Sabha.

Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Sushma Swaraj, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha said that the Bill sought to mandate the viewing of pay channels through an addressable system and also empowered the government to notify from time to time and place to place, the maximum subscription charge of the basic tier of free to air channels. "The system is expected to be in the interest of consumer, cable service providers as well as broadcasters as it will bring transparency in the figures of viewership and will allow customers to choose and pay for channels they wish to watch," she said.

Her statement assumes significance in the wake of reports of the Bill having been stalled in the Upper House where the Opposition has the majority, and continuing threats by cable operators in the Capital to black out cable TV transmission from July 24 if the bill is not passed by then.

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