CHENNAI: Charging the previous UPA regime at the Centre with delaying issuance of Digital Addressable System (DAS) licence to Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV) despite several reminders, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday urged Union Information Minister Prakash Javadekar to grant the licence immediately. A few days ago, she had made this request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when she called on him in New Delhi.
“As per the rules of the Cable TV Network (Regulations) Act, 1995, a person or an association of individuals or a company registered under the Companies Act is entitled to get the DAS licence and TACTV is fully qualified under the Act to be issued the licence,” the Chief Minister said in her letter to Javadekar.
The letter was handed over to Javadekar by AIADMK MPs in New Delhi.
“I 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, as other licences were issued at the same time,” the CM said and added “if the licence is issued, poor and the middle class people in the State would continue to get inexpensive and quality Cable TV services.” TACTV applied for DAS licence on July 5, 2012 for operating in the Chennai Metro Area and on November 23, 2012 for operating in the rest of Tamil Nadu. “While TACTV’s application for licence is still pending, it is learnt that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued licences to nine other Multi System Operators in Tamil Nadu, including those who applied after TACTV,” she pointed out. Stating that many requests made to the then Prime Minister and the Union Information Minister for getting DAS licence had not yielded any fruit, Jayalalithaa said the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had, on December 6, 2012 gave orders for issuing the licence to TACTV. Though the Union Ministry of I&B had constituted an inter-ministerial committee on January 3, 2013 to look into the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on this issue, the panel had not submitted its final report.
Pointing out that TACTV was the single largest Multi System Operator in India offering its services at the lowest rate, Jayalalithaa said the people of Tamil Nadu had been freed from the clutches of the erstwhile MSOs who were fleecing them by charging `150 - 250 per month for relaying just 30 - 70 channels. Recalling that she had revived the moribund TACTV after assuming office in May 2011 and it started its services in all the 31 districts of Tamil Nadu on September 2, 2011 barring Chennai, which was a Conditional Access System area at that point of time, the Chief Minister said TACTV provided 100 channels at a cost of `70 per month.