I&B minister to take CAS review meeting

NEW DELHI: Information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi will review developments on CAS vis-a-vis court cases.

The meeting was scheduled to happen either today or early next week. Pointing out that the government is committed to implementing CAS, Dasmunsi told on Friday, "I'll review CAS in a meeting and try to understand the issues that have beset it."

The minister however, refused to spell out in detail his agenda on CAS. "The ministry's broad stand on CAS has been conveyed to the (Delhi) high court."

In a reply filed before the Delhi HC some days back, the government sought eight to nine months' time to implement the court's order on rolling out addressability in Indian cable homes in select cities.

Dasmunsi also hinted that a big roadblock in the way of smooth implementation of CAS are the different voices in which the various industry stakeholders are speaking.

"There hardly seems to be a consensus amongst them," the minister said on the sidelines of a book release function in the capital.

On 10 March 2006, the Delhi HC had directed the government to roll out CAS in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata within 30 days time.

The directive came on a petition filed by a bunch of MSOs, including Hathway and INCablenet, alleging that a delay in implementing CAS since 2004 has resulted in huge financial losses to them.

The I&B ministry held a series of meeting with the industry, NGOs and consumer bodies soon after the court order, but said in view of inconsistency in the approach of the stakeholders, more time would be needed to iron the differences.

The next date of hearing of the CAS case is 24 May.

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