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Government confident of getting CAS Bill passed in Rajya Sabha

07-December-2002
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Government confident of getting CAS Bill passed in Rajya Sabha

The government is confident that the amendments to the Cable Television (Regulation) Act, 1995, to implement the conditional access system-based cable television distribution system will be passed in Rajya Sabha when it comes up for consideration on December 10.

I& B Minister Sushma Swaraj is very confident of the fact that the Bill which will come up in Rajya Sabha on December 10 will be passed after a discussion on it. The amendments were cleared by Lok Sabha earlier this year.

The broadcasters, who have been opposing the Bill since its introduction, have also come to support it recently. The amendment will stipulate the number of free-to-air channels in a group of cable operators based on the distribution area of the cable operator.

As per the amendment, the government will direct cable operators the number of free-to-air channels based on the state, city and locality of the cable operator. Besides, the government will also work out subscription charges for the free-to-air channels based on the state, the city and the region.

The government will also ensure that the cable operators are meeting its directions in the pricing and the number of the free-to-air channels.

According to Swaraj, the information and broadcasting ministry was taking application from the Rupert Murdoch-promoted Star TV to start a news channel in the country for the consideration of the Union Cabinet.

She also said the government had received an application from Golf Digest to publish from India under the non-news and non-current affairs category of publications. "We are examining the proposal," she said.

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