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Arasu 'monopolistic practices' decried by LCOs, TN body seeks GST exemption

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MUMBAI: A Tamil Nadu federation of unions to which hundreds of cable operators owe allegiance has alleged that the Arasu MSO has been following  'monopolistic practices' and acting against the welfare of its members.

It also made a series of demands from the state and central governments including forming a welfare board for cable TV operators, strict monitoring of Arasu operations by the union ministry and exemption of cable TV operations from Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation Limited (TACTV) had set the subscription fee as Rs 70, which was below the fee recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Of this, cable operators were expected to pay 50 per cent to Arasu, the federation alleged.

Hundreds of cable TV operators from across Tamil Nadu on Monday observed a fast condemning TACTV for acting against the welfare of cable TV operators.

The Federation of Cable TV Associations of Tamil Nadu (FCTATN) has alleged that Arasu had claimed that it owned the complete cable the infrastructure and subscribers although TACTV was formed with almost zero investment since the necessary infrastructure and last mile connectivity were provided by the LCOs (local cable TV operators). "This is unfair," FCTATN chief coordinator D.G.V.P. Sekar said.

Alleging that TACTV was formed with almost zero investment since all the necessary infrastructure and last mile connectivity were provided by the local cable TV operators, the participants said that it was unfair on the part of TACTV to claim that all the infrastructure and subscribers as its own.

The operators also accused TACTV of taking away from them the responsibility of collecting subscription fee, and asking the subscribers to directly pay it online. “Now, operators will have to wait for TACTV to credit the share to us,” Sekar said.

FCTATN members also alleged that TACTV's taluka-level and district-level control room operators were often appointed on the recommendation of ruling political party functionaries, and acted in an 'high-handed behaviour' towards the cable TV operators.

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