Swaraj slams broadcasters' opposition to CAS, says pressure tactics will not work

A day before the amendments to the Cable TV Networks Regulations Act, 1995, is slated to be introduced in Parliament, information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj lashed out at the broadcasters saying "their pressure tactics would not work with her as CAS is in the interest of cable viewing consumers."

In a meeting with some 25-odd cable operators from various parts of the country, Swaraj said that the government is determined to see the amendments to the Act concerned passed before 17 May when Parliament takes a break.

The minister is reported to have told the delegation of cable operators that "talks of referring the amendments to the Act relating to the CAS to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on IT and Telecom are all delaying tactics which would not work."

According to Vicky Chowdhry,a Delhi cable operator who attended the meeting: "The minister was sympathetic towards the problems of the cable operators and exhorted the broadcasters not to further raise the subscription fee of the pay channels in the interim till the time CAS is implemented as it will be unfair for the consumer."

Another cable operator who attended the meeting said that Swaraj also assured them that a separate notification regarding CAS would be issued for the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh after consultations with the chief ministers concerned if the cable operators thought CAS would benefit the consumer.

The government is initially thinking of implementing the CAS in the four metros - Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai.

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