ONLY HALF of the City’s cable operators have joined the ongoing indefinite strike of cable operators to protest against the hike of entertainment tax to Rs 20 per connection.
While the strike seems to be ineffective in Bhopal so far, services in other cities of the State were partially affected. The strike could not be successful in Bhopal as cable operators are totally dependent on multi-system operators (MSOs) to withdraw entertainment channels while continuing the transmission of news channels and other local channels of MSOs.
In Bhopal, B TV withdrew entertainment channels from its network but another MSO – Raj TV continues to transmit entertainment channels. So, only half of the City has been affected due to this strike. The dispute among MSOs has created a similar situation in other cities as well.
Madhya Pradesh Cable TV Vyavsai Mahasangh president Iqbal Singh Chhaora said pay channels had already hiked their rates resulting in the increase of cable fee. Thus, he said the State Government should withdraw the hike in the entertainment tax.
Chhaora also said the Excise Department should not pressurise cable operators until the final decision on this issue. The Mahasangh also demanded the State Government form a committee including representatives of cable operators to preparing rules to run cable TV business in the State. They also demanded cable operators be given rights to run the business in a particular area.