By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, April 28: The Greater Guwahati Cable TV Operators' Association (GGCTOA) has demanded of the Taxation Department, Assam to set guidelines for them to follow so that it does not have to conduct raids in the houses of operators for violation of any guidelines.
Addressing the media at Guwahati Press Club today, GGCTOA president Hemanta Kumar Kalita said: "A few days back, people from the Taxation Department came and raided the house of one of our members and the treasurer without any prior notice and information. Other multitiol companies on Direct to Home (DTH) platform like Tata Sky, Videocon, Airtel, Reliance Big TV, Sun DTH etc., also fall under preview of sale tax under the state government. However, they are never caught by the department the way the local cable TV operators are frequently monitored and harassed even though we are paying taxes regularly."
Kalita also said: "Last year there was a conflict between us and the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) about tax payment. It was settled as we cooperated with the ASEB. We're paying the board Rs 1 lakh a year as tax. Likewise, the Sales Tax Department should also take some proper decisions and issue us some guidelines so that we are well informed, and can cooperate with them."
The GGCTOA demanded of the department to change the Local Cable Operator (LCO) representative for Cable TV Taskforce who was selected by the State Government without consulting any cable operators. "The government selected Ikbal Ahmed, who was expelled from the GGCTOA for working against the interests of the cable operators of Assam and misappropriating funds, as the LCO. He is no longer the general secretary of the GGCTOA, and as such he cannot be selected as the LCO," said Tarun Saha, vice president of the GGCTOA.
Saha also said: "The government should immediately change the LCO through a selection process."
The organization also alleged that for local cable TV nomition for the Cable TV Taskforce for the forthcoming digitalization process, the State Government held a meeting on April 28, 2014 without mentioning the time and venue of the meeting. The organization smelt a rat that the authorities might want to include some vested operators without discussing the GGCTOA. "We, therefore, demand a fresh meeting to be held for sub-group of Local Level Operators' Association (LLOA) for nomiting an operator in the Taskforce for digitalization of Cable TV," Kalita said, and added: "If the government does not take steps in this regard, we will have to resort to take steps like blackout or strikes."