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CATV bill amendment likely to be introduced in Parliament tomorrow; circulation among members today

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No, the amendment to the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 incorporating conditional access (CAS) is not being introduced in the Lok Sabha (Lower House) today as expected by many in the industry, the date has been set for tomorrow, according to sources.

The note is slated to be circulated among members of Lok Sabha to allow them to vote on it tomorrow, reveal sources. Meanwhile, a group of the cable TV trade was expected to meet up with information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj to give the cable TV industry viewpoint once again and clarify any doubts that may have arisen out of the protestations of some broadcasters.

Speaking at Panaji (Goa) yesterday to a leading business daily, Swaraj was quite clear that the government would not budge on CAS, and that she was convinced that it would be beneficial for all as it "would bring the much needed transparency in the system."

She insisted that reports that boxes would cost Rs 7,000-8,000 were totally false and misleading, adding that the actual pricing woul be between Rs 1,500-2,500.

She was also highly critical of the group of broadcasters opposing CAS and asked the reporter from the daily: "Do they not want transparency in viewership?"

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