Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, November 25
After Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi ordered to slash the cable fee to just Rs100, members of the Jalandhar Cable Operators Association today demanded that it must be kept at a minimum amount of Rs130 plus GST levies which are the TRAI guidelines.
Members led by Sunny Chopra, general secretary of the association, said, “As politicians keep talking about cable mafia, the common people start thinking of us as mafia where as we are simply the local ground cable operators. The real mafia includes the illegal distributors. As per the government and TRAI guidelines, only three types of people can deal with public in our trade – broadcaster, multi-system operator (MSO) and local ground cable operators. But the MSOs play foul and rope in illegal super distributors, who get all the cable rights. Then they themselves hide away as the axe keeps on falling on us.”
Going into technicalities further, he said, “There are about five to six broadcasters in India and about 15 MSOs. In Punjab, there is just one MSO –Fastway. It is the super distributors who are spoiling the entire trade and flouting the rules of the government. They are playing games of channel placements and replacements. They are also earning big money out of advertisements, which is nearly 60% of the total income. Out of this money, we do not get any share. They are also evading GST in a big way.”
Members said the need of the hour was that the state government should tighten the noose around such illegal players, end monopoly in the state, promote healthy competition and ultimately benefit the consumers.
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