Friday, Jun 20, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Evidently wary of the fall-out should television viewing become an expensive proposition post-CAS, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Brajesh Mishra, today held a meeting with the Information and Broadcasting Secretary, Pawan Chopra, to take stock of the situation. And, the word from the PMO was an echo of the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee's May 24 directive to the I&B Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, that consumer interests should be protected.
Though Mr. Prasad sought to downplay the meeting as part of an "ongoing consultation process'', he did not rule out his meeting both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, again to discuss CAS.
Today's meeting at PMO came within 24 hours of broadcasters announcing their rates for pay channels as per which the monthly television bill of the average cable home in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai where CAS is to be introduced from July 15 could well double to at least Rs. 550. With the broadcasters turning a Nelson's eye to its efforts at persuasion, the Ministry had begun working in right earnest to rein them in.
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