Television

Ministry of consumer affairs representatives on CAS panel: I&B

NEW DELHI: India's information and broadcasting ministry, grappling with the issue of implementing conditional access (CAS) in cable homes in metros, has decided to have representatives of ministry of consumer affairs on the CAS implementation panel, which will have its first meeting in the first week of August.

"There had been a demand to involve the consumer affairs ministry and we thought it'd be good to do so," a senior government functionary said today.

Pointing out that political opposition to CAS has almost been smoothened out, it was revealed that the government does not foresee much hitch in the rollout of CAS from 1 September.

In the lower house of the Parliament today, dwelling on CAS, information and broadcasting minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed his fellow parliamentarians that the zone-wise implementation of CAS in the metros would give everybody time that will be "utilised to set up preparedness for smooth rollout of CAS and to educate subscribers and increase their awareness."

Later, inaugurating a newly refurbished Press Lounge at the Press Information Bureau (PIB) in the capital, Prasad took a swipe at the television industry by saying my assertion of "self regulation better than control" has not worked with the television people. "I hope it would work with journalists who, I am sure, would help in the upkeep of the swanky lounge," the minister said.

REGULATORY AUTHORITY

The Indian government is studying a suggestion that entails expanding the ambit of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to cover the broadcast sector.

Though the information and broadcasting ministry preferred to play down this move, a senior official did admit that having TRAI do the job on a temporary basis is a suggestion that has come to the ministry.

"But these things (like a regulatory body) cannot be done in a hurry and various suggestions have to be studied," the official said, adding that seminars on the issue of a regulatory mechanism would be held in association with the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries 

(Ficci).

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