Chandigarh: Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday took a swipe at his party’s former leader Amarinder Singh for blocking a law to recover stolen state taxes from cable TV business company Fastway Transmissions that he proposed as a Cabinet minister.
During the Badal regime, Fastway Transmissions came to enjoy monopolistic control over cable TV services in the state.
Fastway has three-four times as many television connections as it shares with the government, said Sidhu.
“Badals made laws to protect its monopoly… @capt_amarinder stalled my proposed law which would have ended fastway monopoly, got revenue for state per connection & reduced TV cable prices for people to half,” tweeted Sidhu.
In another post, Sidhu tweeted: “Take away the cause & effect will seize! In 2017 I proposed a new law to recover stolen state taxes from fastway by taking control over computers & data hidden by fastway monopoly. It would have freed the cable operators from clutches of this monopoly and filled state coffers!!”
Sidhu also stated that he is battling those who have monopolised cable networks under the patronage of the Badals.
“5 yrs ago, I put forward policy to get rid of Multi Systems Operator – Fastway’s monopoly, to recover 1000s of crores taxes, empower local operators & give cheap cable to people without necessary action against fastway, it is erroneous to suggest solution of Punjab’s cable woes,” he tweeted.
In an earlier statement, the cricketer-turned-politician had claimed the ‘scam’ of cable TV networks was much worse when it was calculated considering central taxes of “thousands of crores”.
In a bid to eliminate cartelization across the state, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi earlier this week announced that the monthly cable TV connection rate would be set at Rs 100.
He said all such transport and cable businesses are owned by the Badal family and people need not pay more than Rs 100 per month from now on. He added that strict action would be taken against those who do not follow the new rates.