I&B ministry seeks industry opinion on CAS

Mumbai, March 22 | Updated: Mar 23 2006, 05:30am hrs
In response to Delhi High Court's order of implementing the conditional access system (CAS) in the four metro cities by April 10, the ministry of Information and Broadcasting has invited a meeting of the stakeholders on March 27 to discuss the matter further.

CAS is a technology platform enforced through a set-top-box, which enables the consumer to pay for the channels it watches.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Ficci-FRAMES, I&B Secretary, SK Arora said that the ministry will seek inputs from cable operators, distributors, and broadcasters before responding to the Delhi High Court order. Earlier this month, the Delhi High Court, on behest of the multi system operators (MSOs), had directed the central government to implement CAS within four weeks.

If the stake holders tell us that the four-week deadline in not enough for implementing CAS then we will inform the court accordingly but we are committed in our approach to see that CAS is implemented, Mr Arora said.

The I&B ministry is also in favour of a separate broadcast regulator for better regulation of TV content. Drawing attention to the Trai recommendations on the need to have separate regulators for content and carriage, Mr Arora said that the government is working hand in hand with the industry in this matter. Once the draft bill on broadcasting is ready, it will be submitted to the cabinet. Upon its recommendation, the government will introduce the bill in the Parliament, Mr Arora said.

Referring to the impounding losses occurring because of piracy in entertainment sector, the secretary said that the government is in the process of coming out with a comprehensive Optical Disc Law to tackle the matter. We are jointly working with Ficci and in next few months, the law should be in place, Mr Arora said.