The Pune entertainment department will close down all cable operators in the district which are operating without mandatory registration in the coming week. Even after two extensions to the October end cut-off date, 35-40 per cent of cable operators are not registered with the post office. There are 960 cable operators in the district and only a little over 500 have registered.
“We have given these operators ample time with two extensions for registration. Earlier, we had closed down four control rooms of operators and in the coming week, we will do the needful as they are not abiding by the rules,” said district entertainment department official Mohini Chavan.
A special drive conducted by the Pune district entertainment department in September had reported that 500 out of the 960 cable operators in Pune were not possessing postal registration, which is mandatory as per the norms set by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
The operators were given two months to register with the head post office. But after regular inspection, it was found that operators continued to avoid registration and notices were issued to these operators.
Tax evasion could be one of the biggest reasons behind this irregularity in registration. Officials from the district entertainment department said the cable operators extract tax from people, which they do not deposit to the department. With the TRAI rules, the department has been asked to initiate action on such errant operators
For city areas, the tax per consumer is Rs 45 while for rural areas it is Rs 15 and for municipal council areas it is Rs 30. “A huge evasion is found among these operators which are largely from rural areas as well as some from city areas,” said an official.
According to TRAI guidelines, it is mandatory for cable operators providing services via digital addressable systems (DAS) to register with the head post office before offering service. Cable operators are also required to enter into inter-connection agreements with multi-system operators (MSOs) whose signal they carry.