Delhi cable ops urge chief minister Sheila Dikshit to back CAS

MUMBAI: A delegation of cable operators of Delhi met chief minister Mrs Sheila Dikshit yesterday and urged her to support the implementation of conditional access system in the country.


The operators told Dikshit that CAS should be implemented on a "first-priority" basis if the government was serious in its claims of being consumer-friendly. CAS will not only bring in transparency in the whole system, thereby making the subscriber the king, but it will also help the poor cable operators to come out of the clutches of the pay channel broadcasters, the operators told Dikshit. 

The operators alleged that the channel broadcasters, who are in some cases the MSOs also, have been trying to create a monopoly over the industry by bouquetising their channels. And now they are trying to capture ground networking also, thereby leaving no choice for the operator but to quit.

The delegation listed their demands as under:

*The cable operators are not able to collect their due fees from the consumers. Therefore the government should intervene into the matter and make the subscription amount collected from the subscribers one time (annual payment?). How this is supposed to help the consumer only a cable op can answer. This in effect would mean that if the consumer has a complaint of any sort due to non delivery of channels he has to chase his service provider to collect a refund. And what does he do if he he were to change his mind as to are the channels he wishes to subscribe to? The second part of the demand is even more strange. The government should make payments direct it says. The demand certainly goes against the grain of any consumer interest-based payment system.

*The government should also keep an eye on the entertainment tax Inspectors, who have been harassing the cable operators for long.

*The service tax on Set Top Boxes should be waived, in the interest of the consumers.

*Cable television should be relieved of the entertainment tax, as the services provided through cable TV are for whole family entertainment, comprising of information, news, knowledge programmes etc.

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