Govt to monitor prices of set top boxes: Varma

Govt to monitor prices of set top boxes: Varma New Delhi: Having switched off analogue cable signals in the metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, the government is planning to monitor the implementation of digitised cable in the three cities and prices of set top boxes.

I & B Secretary Uday Kumar Varma said on Thursday that switching off the analogue signal was just one of the things and other areas related to digitisation would continue to be a focus of the ministry.

"We have to make sure that prices of the Set Top Boxes should remain stable. Since there is a possibility that many customers would now immediately rush to get Set Top Boxes after the switching off the analogue signal, it is important that they are not overcharged," Varma said.

"The control room set up by the ministry is also working vigorously to entertain any problem consumers may face and it is referring those problems to Multi System Operators for speedy resolution," Varma said.

The I&B secretary also said the ministry had advised MSOs to plan special schemes for areas where there is a larger concentration of people with lower income groups and hold campaigns by setting up stalls and canopies to raise the awareness of the people there.

Varma said while a high percentage of cable TV households had bought Set top Boxes, the ministry would continue to monitor the implementation of all aspects related to digitisation.

He said it was important that proper grievance redressal mechanisms are put in place by MSOs and cable operators and that the viewers should get maximum possible choices.

"We are going to take it (digitisation) to its logical conclusion," Varma said.
The I&B secretary also said teams from the ministry were busy in making inspections at the ground level.

He admitted there was a possibility that in some areas in the three metros, the analogue signal may not have been completely switched off but added MSOs which violate rules would have to face a show cause notice.

"They should fear losing their license," Varma said. "We may issue a show cause notice to violators for which they will be given a 3-day period to respond," he added.

PTI