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IBF united to thrash out differences on CAS Team

(28 April 2003 8:30 pm)
NEW DELHI: The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) today decided that it should put up a united front and thrash out various differences, including those on conditional access, within the organisation itself.

In a board meeting, which was not attended by Foundation president and Prasar Bharati CEO K S Sarma owing to an official visit to Srinagar, a decision on the show cause notice issued to Sahara TV president Mahesh Prasad was deferred till the next meeting of the IBF.

Speaking to on behalf of the IBF, ESPN India's head Manu Sawhney said, "The IBF stands united, more than ever at this juncture. We realise that all the members have a big role to play in industry related issues, including the implementation of CAS."

Sawhney also downplayed the discordant note that Sarma had struck during a recent meeting with the parliamentary standing committee on IT, telecom and convergence, where he had disagreed with an IBF subcommittee view that CAS should be phased in and tried out in one city before being deployed in all the metros as had been mandated by the government.

"We are working collectively to address the (industry) issues proactively, including those related to the consumers," Sawhney said. Though he refused to comment on the Mahesh Prasad issue saying "it's an internal matter," he did add that reduction of duty on the set top boxes (needed for CAS) is one of the key issues for the IBF at the moment for which the Foundation "would once again reinforce its stand to the government."

Meanwhile, Sarma visited the Srinagar radio station in his capacity as the CEO of Prasar Bharati to review the situation after militants had struck there.

Sarma also appreciated All India Radio station director Rafeeq Masoodi and his staff for making it possible to run the station without any disruption despite a fierce gun battle being fought outside the premises.

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