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DAS: Total number of provisional MSO licence holders rises to 596, taking total to over 825

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NEW DELHI: 22 April: Even as the digital addressable system comes under a cloud with cases of extension getting transferred to Delhi High Court, the government has cleared 35 multi system operators for provisional licences in the first twenty days of this month and took the total to 827 including 231 which have ten-year licences.

The last list issued as on 31 March had put the total at 792 including the 231 which have permanent (ten-year) licences.

The Information and Broadcasting had by 12 January cancelled the licences of 26 MSOs and closed their cases.

According to the list issued today but dated till 21 April, the areas of operation of two MSOs have been revised or amended in the past three weeks.

Unlike the last list, two of the MSOs have got pan-India licences while the others are for specific states or districts in respective states. The new registrations are from Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Odisha, Chhatisgarh, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.

With the Home Ministry directive about doing away with security clearances for MSOs not being communicated in writing to the MIB, the pace remains slow.

The permanent licence issued to Kal Cable of Chennai had been cancelled on 20 August, 2014 but this cancellation was set aside by Madras High Court on 5 September the same year. However, Kal Cable’s name continues to be in the cancelled list – presumably because the cases are still pending. 

Sources denied that denial of security clearance was the reason for provisional licences and said many MSOs holding provisional licences had not completed certain formalities relating to shareholders and so on.

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