Cartel threatening small cable operators: official -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Cartel threatening small cable operators: official

HYDERABAD, May 12: A group of cable operators having monopoly in the city want to purge a smaller group by threatening to go on strike if their licenses are not cancelled, said Chairman, Pakistan Electronic Media Association, Sindh chapter, Mohammad Ibrahim Rana.

Speaking at a press conference and in the presence of a large number of cable operators, he said every individual in Pakistan has the right to engage in legal business with no one to stop him.

Few cable operators, he said, have formed a cartel in Hyderabad and are trying to monopolize this business by resorting to protest demonstrations and threatening network closure.

He said those granted license by Pemra with up-to-date payment are entitled to run their businesses. Only monopolists are threatening the smaller group and at the same time holding television channels hostage, he lamented.

He feared the public may be deprived of cheap and quality recreational facility if the cartel was allowed to maintain its hegemony as healthy competition is the sine qua non for it.

He appealed to Information and Broadcasting Minister Sherry Rehman to intervene in the matter and stop such tendencies of a capitalist group.

Local cable operators Rashid Amin, Mohammad Mukhtiar, Abdul Hameed and others said the capitalist group of cable operators working in Latifabad is also trying to control the business of Qasimabad and city talukas.

They said they have obtained license for Rs1.380 million and have every right to do business according to the law of the land. They said monopolists have no right to demand cancellation of license or to deprive any one of his of livelihood.

They said the cartel is trying to hoodwink District Nazim and press and blackmail the government. They said there is no cable operators’ union in Latifabad and Hyderabad and as such exploiters are falsely using names of union.

They appealed to the District Nazim and regional and district police to provide protection to small cable operators against threats of the monopolist group.

Meanwhile, cable network on Sunday night remained closed for a couple of hours but later restarted.
Source: Dawn
Date:5/13/2008