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Puducherry govt planning to set up Arasu-like cable TV corp

MUMBAI: The government of Puducherry (formerly known as Pondicherry) will soon form an expert committee to study the demand for a government-run cable TV corporation much like its neighbour Tamil Nadu’s Arasu Cable TV Corporation.

Welcoming the suggestion from opposition to set up a cable TV corporation to beef up the revenue of the municipalities, Puducherry CM N Rangasamy said that the government would act as soon as the committee submitted its report.

“I fully agree with the view of the member that the municipalities’ revenue should be strengthened,” Rangasamy said.

The question to form a state-run cable TV corporation was raised by AIADMK MLA Om Sakthi Segar. Incidentally, it was the AIADMK government led by J Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu that had revived the Arasu Cable TV Corporation to take on SCV promoted by her DMK rival Karunanidhi’s nephew Kalanithi Maran.

The latest move by the Puducherry government is in line with the assertions made by local administration minister NG Panneerselvam that the government will form a committee to go into the merits and scope for the proposed cable TV corporation.

Segar said that while the cable TV service providers were earning huge sums in subscription fee, they were not paying taxes to the municipalities by concealing the actual subscriber base. He further stated that cable TV service providers were charging Rs 250 per month from an estimated 240,000 subscribers.

It must mentioned here that the Karnataka government is also conducting the feasibility of starting its own distribution platform to offer cable TV services at cheaper rates than those offered by the private cable TV companies.

Notably, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recently recommended that the government or government-owned entities must not be allowed to enter the broadcasting sector. In case permission has already been granted to any such organisation, TRAI has said that an appropriate exit route must be provided.