MSOs meet RS Prasad to discuss CAS today

NEW DELHI: Multi-system operators (MSOs) are meeting the information and broadcasting (I&B) minister Ravi Shankar Prasad around 3.30 pm today on conditional access system (CAS).

One of the demands of the MSOs, according to Zee Telefilms vice chairman and head of Siti Cable, Jawahar Goel, is to extend the duty exemption granted on imports of set-top boxes (STBs).

The second extension of duty exemption on STB imports from the government's side, with an aim to give a fillip to rollout of CAS, expires on 30 September.

It is not yet known officially what would be the stand of the
government on the STBs' imports considering the implementation of CAS in all the cities, except Chennai, has got bogged down in political and bureaucratic tangles.

Bowing to political pressures from certain quarters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the federal government had to denotify Delhi from the CAS rollout road map last month

Following this, Shiv Sena in Mumbai and the West Bengal government too asked for a postponement of CAS in Kolkata and Mumbai. Though, officially CAS is supposed to be in force both in Kolkata and Mumbai as they haven't been denotified.

It would be known later today, if the government would extend the tax sops on STB imports. Meanwhile, the government is yet to file a reply on a clutch of cases on CAS pending in the Delhi high court. The next hearing is tomorrow.

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