CHENNAI: Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Tuesday urged Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information and Broadcasting Arun Jaitley to issue the Digital Addressable System (DAS) licence to the Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation without any further delay.
“This is an issue on which we were keenly expecting an early decision in view of the clear legal position and the strong merits of the case. The updated status on the Cabinet Secretariat’s website on pending issues of State Governments with Government of India still indicates that the matter is under consideration of the Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC). Nearly two years is an inordinate amount of time for an IMC of officials to take to formulate a view on an issue of this nature,” the Chief Minister said in his letter to the Union Minister.
A delegation of AIADMK MPs led by Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M Thambi Durai and K Radhakrishnan, Chairman, TACTV handed over the letter in person to Jaitley at his office on Tuesday. The issue of a DAS License to TACTV was one of the issues former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had been pursuing for a long time and written letters to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jaitley in the past, Panneerselvam said and added that issuance of DAS licence would enable Tamil Nadu government to adhere to its commitment to provide inexpensive and quality Cable TV services to the people the State, particularly the poor and the middle class.
“TACTV is fully qualified under the Cable TV Network (Regulations) Act, 1995 and Rules to be issued such a licence. We strongly suspect that the non-issuance of the DAS licence to TACTV by the previous UPA Government was only to facilitate particular private business interests,” he said and observed that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued licences to nine other Multi System Operators in Tamil Nadu, including those who applied after TACTV.
TACTV is the single largest Multi System Operator in India having nearly 24,000 Local Cable Operators with 65 lakh subscribers. The rejuvenation of TACTV has freed the people of Tamil Nadu from the clutches of the erstwhile Multi System Operators who were consistently fleecing customers by charging `150 to `250 per month for just 30-70 channels. TACTV has taken all necessary steps to commence operations in the Digital Mode in Chennai city.
In preparation for commencing digital operations, orders have been placed for the supply of Set Top Boxes, Conditional Access System and Subscriber Management System and erection of Head End at a total cost of about `50 crore.