Cable TV

CODA urges government to fix cable TV rate

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MUMBAI: Cable operators today urged the Maharashtra government to fix cable subscription rates in the state. They also asked for a rollback of 50 per cent hike on entertainment tax.Addressing the press in Mumbai, the representatives of Cable Operators' Distributors Association (Coda) said they had written to the state revenue minister Narayan Rane, requesting to re-consider its decision on the hike. 

The state finance minister Jayant Patil had proposed a hike in taxes which included a 50 per cent increase in entertainment duty levied on cable operators, while presenting a surplus budget of Rs 3.06 billion for 2006-2007 in the Assembly."We have asked the state government to fix a uniform cable TV rate. We have also asked the government to revise its decision on the entertainment tax hike. We hope to meet the minister on this next week," said Coda vice president Ravi Singh.

Entertainment tax in those areas under municipal corporations, such as Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Nagpur, will go up from Rs 30 to Rs 45. Also, Grade-A municipal council areas would now pay Rs 30 instead of Rs 20, while Grade-B & C municipal council zones would pay Rs15 instead of Rs10.

Coda also suggested for a three-tier entertainment tax system. "The government could consider a different entertainment tax rate structure for the upper, middle and lower classes. If the government goes ahead with the 50 per cent hike in entertainment tax, we may go on strike. Why should we be responsible for collecting entertainment tax? We are, after all, service providers," said Singh.

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