According to the new policy of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), consumers have to choose channels of their choice, which include 100 free channels by January 31. However, the cable operators and multi service operators (MSO) have neither furnished the list of channels nor got the form filled from the consumers. As a result the consumers are in state of confusion.
The Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat has demanded the cable operators and MOS to immediately fill up the forms and explain the new system to the consumers. Vidarbha Organising Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat Gajanan Pande has urged TRAI to make 100 channels completely free and the rates of paid channels to be brought down to 10 paise to Rs 5.
In a press release, Pande has stated that there are total 882 channels of which 500 channels including channels of other regional languages are free to air. The consumers have to choose 100 free channels, of which 27 are compulsory channels of Doordarshan. The remaining 73 channels consist of news, religious, entertainment, sports and other channels for which the consumers will have to pay Rs 153. In addition, the consumers will have to pay separate amount for each channel starting from 10 paise to Rs 19 per channel. The rates prescribed by the channels are exorbitant and those should be reduced, he demanded. He has further demanded to bring down the GST from 18 per cent to 5 per cent and provide a respite to the consumers.