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Punjab: Cable operators object to tariff cap, AAP says dictatorial

Addressing media here, the association members dared the CM to notify the decision so that the cable operators can take up the issue with TRAI.

Days after Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi announced a cap on the cable network tariff at Rs 100 per month, cable operators of the state on Wednesday objected to the move, while AAP termed it a dictatorial move. Punjab Cable Operators Association president Sanjeet Singh Sunny Gill said that the state government has no right to cap the tariff as the cable operators are governed by TRAI and the authority has already fixed the tariff at Rs 130 per month for 200 free to air channels.

Addressing media here, the association members dared the CM to notify the decision so that the cable operators can take up the issue with TRAI.

Sunny Gill told the media, “The CM has been probably misguided on the issue. As per the TRAI rules, 18 per cent GST is included in Rs 130 tariff…This way an operator gets only Rs 65.”

He said cable operators were not a mafia, adding that they pay tax to the government and there were 5,000 cable operators in the state who were delivering services to 1.80 lakh people.

He said Channi’s announcement of Rs 100 will benefit multinational DTH companies. The people will get cable connections withdrawn and take services from DTH companies.

Tughlaqi farman: AAP

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has termed CM Channi’s claim of making cable connections available in the state at Rs 100 per month a ‘Tughlaqi farman’. The party challenged the Channi government to issue an immediate notification of the decision.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here on Wednesday, senior AAP leader and spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang said that “frightened due to the support given to the Aam Aadmi Party”, Chief Minister Channi had been making announcements without any thought but in reality nothing was done on the ground.

Kang said, “Rs 100 per connection is welcome, but let the Chief Minister tell how it will be possible? When will the notification be issued? Prior to announcing the decision, did Charanjit Singh Channi conduct any study or research on the rules and regulations of the state and TRAI for cable network operations? The Chief Minister should tell whether he considers cable operators as cable mafia.” He said that Channi’s announcement showed that the government was eliminating ordinary cable operators instead of cracking down on big cable and network mafias.

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