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Cable TV operators' strike called off

19-August-2004
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Cable TV operators' strike called off

Cable network companies, protesting the 10 per cent service tax imposed on them, have called off their indefinite strike. This has come in the wake of the forthcoming busy sports season and a section of cable operators deciding not to support the strike.

Cable companies have been under pressure from broadcasters as well as the subscribers to suspend the strike.

It is also pointed out that with the busy cricket season starting this weekend, broadcasters want the cable companies to resume their operations.

“We have decided to suspend the strike today after we took stock of the situation. Blocking of service during the Olympics has caused major concern for the subscribers,” said Virendra Gaur, convener, All India Cable TV Forum. The cable companies began their strike on Tuesday.

Gaur said the future course of action would be decided after a response from the government on the issue of the service tax.

“We have made presentations to the government. We will wait for the government to react to our demands,” Gaur said.

The forum announced the indefinite strike against the Budget proposals to include cable network companies in the 10 per cent service tax net. Some of the cable network companies, which are part of the forum are Hathway, SITI Cable, IN Cable, RPG , Trinity, Cable Operators United Front and Forum of Cable Operators.

Meanwhile, a section of cable operators today intimated the government that they were not a part of the strike and want a solution for the present crisis.

They also met Revenue Secretary Vineeta Rai in this regard. The cable operator wanted the government to come out with a public awareness programme to help cable operators collect the increased service tax and demanded facility of financial loans by banks.

Cable companies also told the government that to bring all television services at par, direct to home and broadband should also be taxed in a similar way or they all should be exempted from tax as the content is same in all.

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