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Navjot Sidhu alleges scam in cable TV industry

Sidhu alleged that the Fastway Cable owners even failed to deposit the meagre annual tax of Rs 15,000 to the government, but no action was taken.

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Chandigarh, Aug 2 : Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday said that there was massive corruption in the Punjab cable TV industry during the previous regime which caused losses worth thousands of crores to the state exchequer.

He added that the Congress government would break the monopoly of a company that thrived during the 10-year rule of the Shiromani Akali Dal government (2007-2017) in the state.

“The Punjab Government is committed to break the monopoly situation and to create level playing field in Cable TV industry. The long and sordid saga of corruption by the previous regime would now be taken to its logical conclusion,” Local Government and Culture Minister Sidhu told media here.

Supreme Court lawyer Vineet Bhagat, who addressed the media with Sidhu and other officials, said that the previous state government had made special concessions for the Fastway Cable company by amending tax provisions.

“In 1995, the Entertainment Tax in Punjab was Rs 50 per television. But the previous government amended the provisions to keep Fastway out of the tax net and imposed a meagre tax of Rs 15,000 per annum on the proprietors of the Cable TV network,” Bhagat said.

“Calculating the impact of the loss of revenue to the government, taking into account a conservative figure of 40 lakh connections of Fastway, as mentioned in the report of Competition Commission of India of 2012, it would come to Rs 1,440 crore.”

“Instead of finding its way to the government exchequer, the money was diverted to the pockets of private persons. This is a conservative figure for tax loss impact from 2010 to 2016. This is only a tip of the iceberg, while the actual figure may go up to Rs 20,000 crore,” Bhagat alleged.

He further claimed that to discourage direct to home service and to make it uncompetitive, a tax of 10 per cent was levied on DTH services by the SAD government.

Sidhu alleged that the Fastway Cable owners even failed to deposit the meagre annual tax of Rs 15,000 to the government, but no action was taken.

Despite having more than 80 lakh connections today, they have grossly under declared their connectivity at about 24 lakh connections to TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) and continue to short change the government and the regulator, Sidhu said.

Cities

Six dead in road accidents in Odisha

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Road Accident

Bhubaneswar, Jan 22: At least six persons were killed and four others injured in two separate road accidents in Odisha on Monday.

A deadly head-on collision between a truck and an auto-rickshaw on new Jagannath Sadak in Satyabadi area of Puri district claimed five lives and left three others injured on Sunday night, said police on Monday.

Satyabadi Inspector-in-Charge Krushna Chandra Sethy said the deceased and the injured have been identified as the residents of Andalsingha village.

Eight persons were returning after attending a funeral at Swargadwar in Puri when the auto they were travelling in was hit by a truck, said police.

While four died on the spot, one succumbed to his injury at Puri District Headquarters Hospital (DHH).

The condition of the injured was stated to be critical.

In another road accident, a person died and his wife sustained critical injuries after being hit by an unidentified vehicle at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Monday.

The deceased was identified as Dambarudhar Behera, 50. His wife has been admitted to Capital Hospital here.

IANS

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Uttar Pradesh: Dense fog causes bus-truck collision, 36 injured

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Lucknow, Jan 22: Three dozen passengers, travelling on a Uttar Pradesh roadways bus, were injured on Monday after the vehicle was hit by a speeding truck due to low visibility, police said.

The head-on collision took place near the Charpaan turn near Belipaar on the Gorakhpur-Varanasi highway.

The impact was so severe that the bus was badly damaged. A police officer said fog and poor visibility led to the accident.

The injured included 33 passengers from the bus, the bus driver, truck driver and a cleaner of the truck. Condition of two persons were serious.

The injured were admitted to the district hospital while the serious ones were rushed to the the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur.

The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) bus belonged to the Allahabad Depot. It was on its way to Gorakhpur when the accident occurred.

While the weather has cleared in most parts, fog and poor visibility continues in eastern parts of the state, especially on the national highways leading to such accidents.

IANS

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CISF recovers 20 live cartridges from woman at Adarsh ​​Nagar Metro Station

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New Delhi, Jan 22: Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel on Monday seized twenty  live cartridges from a woman at Adarsh Nagar metro station in the national capital during security checking.

The Adarsh Nagar metro station is located on the Yellow Line stretch of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), runs from Samaypur Badli to Huda city centre in Gurugram.

More details awaited.

WeForNews

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