Plea from India’s MSOs to cut taxes

The Indian state of Maharashtra, which includes and surrounds Mumbai, levies a tax on each cable subscriber of about 75 cents on each and every cable subscriber as an “entertainment tax”.

The Cable Operators & Distributors Association (CODA) is asking the government to slash the tax to just one-third of its present rate, to about 25 US cents for every set-top or converter box connected.

It is also using the argument that in other regions of India the tax is almost zero. Even in the capital city of Delhi it is set at about 33 cents.

The CODA group is threatening to cut service for the various news channels its members carry, which in news-hungry India would be a major disadvantage for viewers, and government.

Bizarrely, CODA is also arguing that back in the day when under-declaration of subscribers was normal the 75c fee was understandable. Now that digital means that every set-top box and home can be identified, and a fee charged, the 75c amount is much too high.

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