The district administration of Nasik has temporarily suspended licences of around 30-35 local cable operators (LCOs) for failing to provide joint affidavit with multi-system operators (MSOs) to pay their entertainment tax.
The Nasik collectorate’s office has also asked the MSOs to switch off signals to these LCOs. However, the MSOs have not complied with the district administration’s diktat, a cable operator from Nasik said on condition of anonymity.
Earlier, this month the Maharashtra government had issued a circular asking all LCOs in the state to pay their entertainment tax directly to the district collector in the interim till the Bombay High Court or the Nagpur High Court takes a final call on the issue.
The LCOs in question have been paying their entertainment tax to the Bombay High Court following an interim order by the court asking LCOs to pay the entertainment tax either to the HC or to their respective district collectorate.
The Nasik collectorate has also asked the LCOs to give details of the entertainment tax paid to the court and the number of connections for which the tax has been paid. The collector of Nasik has given a week’s time to the LCOs to furnish these details.
The remaining LCOs in the city have been paying their entertainment tax to the collectorate. Nasik has 350-400 LCOs who provide cable TV services to 178,000 cable TV homes.
Maharashtra Cable Operators Foundation (MCOF) president Arvind Prabhoo termed the move by the district administration to temporarily suspend licence of LCOs as high handed. “They don’t have the authority to ask MSOs to switch off signals and suspend licences,” said Prabhoo.