Now, Bengal minister links FDI issue with digitisation deadline
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Even as the state government is planning to once again asked the Centre to extend the October 31 deadline for digitisation of cable network after it did not receive any response from Delhi to its same request, state Urban Development Minister Firad Hakim on Friday linked the Centre's silence to Trinamool Congress' opposition to FDI in retail. "The Centre, which put pressure on us to accept the decision on FDI in multi-brand retail trade, is now mounting pressure on us regarding the digitisation issue," Hakim said.
On September 29, the state government had written to the Centre urging it to extend the deadline citing apprehensions of law and order problem. "There could be law and order problem. But the Centre has not yet responded to our letter. The chief secretary will contact the Centre again on the issue," he added. A meeting on the issue was held on Friday, which was attended by the chief secretary, home secretary, Commissioner of Kolkata Police, DMs of Howrah, Hooghly, North and South 24-Parganas.
The Centre had earlier notified that those who have not installed set top boxes (STBs) in the four metropolis — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai — before October 31, they would not be able to access cable TV. While, the Bengal government said that only about 60 per cent of households in Kolkata have opted for STBs so far and therefore needed more time to increase digitisation, the Central government put the digitisation figure at 73 per cent in Kolkata.
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