Date: 25th August 2000

Cable Systems Go Dark In Bombay And Surrounding Area

Cable operators in the western Indian state of Maharashtra shut down services on Wednesday and Thursday to protest against a government decision to double their taxes.

In Bombay, Ramkrishna Keni, who heads an association of cable operators in the state, told Agence France Presse, the French news agency, that the tax would kill the industry. "Assuming that a subscriber pays us on an average 100 rupees per month in Bombay for a connection, 74 rupees from that goes to the pay channels. If the government wants us to pay 30 rupees as entertainment tax, what will remain for us?"

But a Maharastra state spokesman fired back that the cable operators continue to misrepresent the number of subscribers they have signed up. "According to them the state has 1.2 million cable connections. We feel this figure is incorrect. According to us the state has between 3.5 million and four million cable connections."

Source: Studio Briefing