As the government's TV signal digitisation drive enters its second phase, the information and broadcasting ministry has asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to come up with measures to check prevalence of monopolies in the cable TV sector.
"I have requested the ministry to make a reference to the TRAI as to how do we ensure that monopolies do not continue to subsist in the market because monopolies are the anti-thesis of choice," information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari said.
He was asked whether he had taken the step keeping in mind the domination by certain players in the Multi-System Organisations (MSOs) category in states like Punjab. "Essentially this is not about Punjab or about any state. I think the issue is very germane. When you are trying to create a transparent architecture which empowers the consumers, I think it is also essential that they need to have a wider choice in terms of operators," he said.
The minister said that he had asked TRAI to look into monopolies whether they existed at a local, state or regional level and also into other related gamut of issues. Asked if he was in favour of bringing news broadcasters under the ambit of the Press Council, he said the government favoured self-regulation.