NBA, the body of private television news and current affairs broadcasters said digitization would provide significant transparency and enable the government to enhance its revenues
New Delhi: The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) on Wednesday urged the government to ensure digitisation of cable network is made effective from 1st July, and said the move will help the "crippled" industry, reports PTI.
The NBA board which met today lauded the government's move to usher in digitisation from 1st July next.
In a statement, the body of private television news and current affairs broadcasters said it will provide for significant transparency and enable the government to enhance its revenue by way of income tax, service tax and entertainment tax.
"Importantly, from the news broadcasters' view there is a significant ray of hope with the potential reduction of carriage and ban on placement fees, both of which have crippled the industry", it said.
Referring to speculations that the implementation date could be extended, NBA believed that the government would continue with its "determination and assurance" that the date will be adhered to.
The PIL filed by BJP's former leader Govindacharya, seeks recovery of taxes on incomes of Google and Facebook from India and data safety of 50 million Indian users
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought responses of the Centre, Facebook India and Google India on a plea by former BJP ideologue KN Govindacharya for recovery of taxes on their income from operations in India, reports PTI.
"Issue notice to the respondents. The Centre is to file its reply within four weeks," a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajiv Shakdher said.
Govindacharya, presently a patron of 'Rashtriya Swabhimaan Aandolan', in a public interest litigation (PIL) petition, has also sought directions to the Centre and the two websites to "ensure proper accounting compliances as per RBI guidelines".
The petition also sought a direction to ensure safety of the data of 50 million Indian users, which were transferred "to the USA and being used for commercial gains in violation of the right to privacy."
"Issue a writ of mandamus ...to ensure verification of all existing users and future new members of social networking websites with instructions not to do agreements with children below 13 years," said the plea, filed through lawyer Virag Gupta.
The plea also sought creation of a national register of persons, indulging in sexual offences and heinous crimes and stopping such persons from joining social networking websites.
The petition, which listed the alleged violations of various terms by the websites, also sought a direction to the Centre to ensure that government officers "do not use social networking websites through government computers" as they may pose threat to sensitive data and national computer network.
"As per telecommunication ministers statement in Parliament, the government lost $4 billion every year due to cyber-crimes and approximately 90 million government websites were hacked in last 3 years," it said.
Govindacharya, in his PIL, said "Facebook gross revenue for previous year was approximately $37 billion but they are not paying due taxes on their Indian operations as per the provisions of Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and the government is not taking any action to safeguard the national interest and the sovereignty of the country."
Anonymous hackers have again threatened to attack the government websites from 9th June "to protest blocking of websites illegally sharing video contents," the petition said.
It also sought directions to the Centre to impose penalty on social networking sites and other internet companies "for non-verification of users and to recover damages for causing huge loss to the government and the Indian economy due to anonymous users' illegal operations through such sites."
Referring to a report of Mumbai ATS, the PIL said the accused of the 13th July blast in Mumbai last year were in touch with each other and the Indian Mujahideen operatives through Facebook since 2008.
"Facebook is one of prominent social networking website with more than 50 million Indian users and as per their own records approximately 5% to 6% of their accounts are fake or being operated by anonymous users due to non-authentication of details by the company before opening of accounts as required by their terms of agreement," it said.
The Centre's KYC (know your customer) guidelines, applicable to the telecom companies are not being followed by the social sites which is "causing the biggest security risk to the nation", it said.
"As per reports, Facebook has further allowed account opening by children below 13 years of age who may be 1/3rd of their registered users just to exploit online gaming market and increase advertisement revenue," it said.
Indicating that the sacked pilots could be replaced by new ones, the Civil Aviation Minister said 90 pilots are currently undergoing training and would be available for flying in August
New Delhi: Virtually shutting the doors on the striking pilots of Air India, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Wednesday said the sacked cockpit crew could return only if they applied afresh when the ailing national carrier advertised for inducting more of them, reports PTI.
"As far as we are concerned, the pilot's strike is over. If the (striking) pilots don't accept Dharmadhikari report which is part of the airline's turnaround plan, I don't think there is any point in their coming back... If terminated pilots want to come back, they will have to apply afresh," Singh told reporters in the capital.
His comments came on the 30th day of the agitation when the Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG) members staged silent marches in Delhi and Mumbai to press their demands relating to career progression, apart from reinstatement of their 101 sacked colleagues and restoration of recognition of their union.
Indicating that the sacked pilots could be replaced by new ones, Singh said 90 pilots were currently undergoing training and would be available for flying in August.
"We're making sure we have enough resources - pilots and engineers to operate the new flights we have planned," he said in reply to a spate of questions on the pilots' strike.
"They (pilots) have decided not to come back. They have trashed the Dharmadhikari Report" which recommended several steps for integration of the staff of the two erstwhile airlines post their 2007 merger, he said.
"Our stand is that the strike is illegal. The High Court has also said it. They also did not give notice (for the strike)... They are still welcome if they want to come back, but there should be no pre-condition," Singh said.
Maintaining that the truncated international schedule being operated during the strike had stabilised, Singh also announced that Air India would get three new Boeing 787 Dreamliners this month itself and unveiled new global operations plan, including starting of new flights.
Observing that Air India would soon advertise for taking more pilots and approach agencies to hire them, the Minister said, "It is up to them (striking pilots) whether they want to come back to work....They can always respond to the advertisements of Air India."
Asked whether more pilots would be sacked, he said "It is up to the management to decide whether they want to extend this action to others also." Over 200 pilots are on strike.
He also said there were "sufficient number" of pilots to fly the new B-787 Dreamliner planes.
Regarding the issue of compensation being sought by the national carrier from Boeing for delay in delivery of the B- 787s, Singh said the airline Board had moved a proposal after talking to the US manufacturer. "It will come up before the CCEA (Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs) soon."
Asked whether the government wanted to privatise or sell off Air India now or at a later date, he said, "At present, there is no such proposal and we are not considering it."
On AI's new global flight plan, he said it included starting of a new flight to Kuala Lumpur, using the B-787 on Mumbai-London sector from August one and launching of Australia operations from August-September with these new planes.
"By November (when Winter Schedule begins), Air India's international operations will be further expanded. With this, the entire original Air India network of 27 stations shall not only be fully restored, but expanded also," he said.
Flights to Hong Kong, Osaka, Toronto and Seoul, stopped when the strike began, would be restored over the next few months. Hong Kong would be connected by a narrow-body Airbus A-319 from July and this service would be extended to Osaka and Seoul from August one, Singh said.
After its induction, the first Dreamliner would operate on domestic routes for 6-8 weeks to train pilots for take-offs and landings, before it is used to operate Mumbai-London sector in August.