CABLE SERVICES were disrupted as cable operators of the City went on a strike from 6 am today in protest against the steep hike in entertainment tax.
Adarsh Maa Ahilya Cable Operators Association secretary Kedar Pandya said that the duration of strike, which was scheduled till noon, was later extended till 6.00 pm. Pandya said that they were forced to take this step after the State Government doubled the entertainment tax from Rs 10 per connection to Rs 20 per connection.
Excise Department officials said that the hike in entertainment tax was introduced on April 1 and the collection cannot be delayed unless the State Government withdraws the decision.
Only 55,000 cable connections are registered with the Excise Department and it does not have enough manpower to check every connection. If the correct number of connections is disclosed, there will be no need to increase the tax.
The cable operators have a different view on this matter and they attribute all this to the inflation rate. The cable operators charge from Rs 50-400 on each connection depending on the person and area. The connection in slum areas is given at low rates. The connection to influential or political people has to be given free, they said.
Association members met Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at Indore Airport today and handed over a memorandum to him that listed their demands. According to Kedar Pandya, the Chief Minister asked them to come to Bhopal with their representatives to discuss the matter. The Association later connected the cable lines after being asked to do so by the Chief Minister.