Tax waiver benefit not reaching Tamil Nadu cable subscribers

April 7th, 2008 - 3:18 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, April 7 (IANS) The benefit of scrapping the entertainment tax on cable television by the Tamil Nadu government has not been passed on to the subscribers. While the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) fixed the rate for free channels is Rs.77 plus service tax, in Tamil Nadu the cable operators charge anything between Rs.100 and Rs.110 per month.

“There is no change in the subscription rate. I pay the usual rate Rs.100,” said a resident of Adyar area.

Another subscriber from T. Nagar said he was charged Rs.110 and in Luz Avenue area the rate is Rs.105 per month.

When asked an official of Sun Cable Vision (SCV), the largest cable operator in Tamil Nadu, told IANS: “We have no role to play in the pricing structure. It is for the cable operators to decide.”

The government in its budget this year decided to waive the entertainment tax to the tune of Rs.160 million. But cable operators continue collecting it from the households.

While there is a law but no order on the retail pricing of free channels, the state government is moving ahead with its plans to start its own cable operations under the banner Arasu Cable TV Corporation.

The state government undertaking has been licensed by the ministry of information and broadcasting to operate as a multi system operator (MSO) to receive and distribute TV signals in Tamil Nadu from April 2 this year.

The government has decided to float tenders to acquire the necessary equipment and start the cable TV services first in Nilgiri, Coimbatore, Erode, Namakkal, Karur, Salem, Dindugul, Trichy, Tanjavur, Puddukottai, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Thiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts July 15.

This will be followed by services in Nellai, Kanyakumari, Madurai, Tuticorin, Virudhunagar, Ramanathapuram, Sivagangai, Theni, Thiruvanamallai, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Vellore, Cuddalore, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur districts on Independence Day.

In Chennai, Arasu Cable TV Corporation will start operations Sep 15.

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