The Lok Sabha yesterday passed the Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Bill 2002, paving the way for introduction of a conditional access system (CAS) to regulate the broadcasting industry.
Lok Sabha members welcomed the introduction of the Bill, but cautioned the Government against burdening the consumer. They said that the price of set-top box estimated at between Rs 3,000 and Rs 7,000 may be steep for some consumers and the government must take measures to ensure that the entire burden need not have to be entirely borne by them.
The Information and Broadcasting Minister, Sushma Swaraj, dispelled such fears and said that manufacturers had given an assurance that the set-top boxes would not cost more than Rs 2000 each. The minister added that set-top-boxes would not be required by viewers for receiving free-to-air channels. The Minister said the government would fix a basic tier of free-to-air channels and the maximum rate that could be charged by cable operators for such channels.
Source: Business Line