Published On : Thu, Mar 26th, 2015

UCN cable default on entertainment tax worth over 55 Crore, telecast goes blank,Will raid again: District Collector

“UCN Cable Network did not pay entertaiment tax to the tune of crores for the past two years and the action was taken on Wednesday to recover it. The cable network in question has been recovering entertainment tax from subscribers but was not paying to the district administration. It was for this reason that the said cable network’s office was sealed on Wednesday. However, keeping in view the subscribers inconvenience, the cable network was allowed to resume the telecast after it assured to pay the outstanding ET by March 31”, says district collector, Abhishek Krishna
Nagpur: The cable telecasting of UCN set-top box suddenly went blank on Wednesday afternoon in most parts of Vidarbha, including the city, a day prior to the much-awaited ICC World Cup semi-final, much to the horror of cricket lovers. It took quite a long time for people to realise, after much struggle to restart their television sets, what exactly must have happened.

The telecast stopped after the entertainment tax department of the district administration raided and sealed the office of Universal Cable Network (UCN) in the city at 2.30 pm on Wednesday, leaving people confused. While some attributed the problem to some technical snag in TV, others thought it was a problem of remote. Reality sank in much later. The stalled telecast resumed temporarily after a settlement of 16.50 lakh.

According to sources, UCN had defaulted on payment of entertainment tax amounting to over 55 crore since April 1, 2013. Repeated notices and reminders from the administration were ignored by UCN compelling the administration to finally initiate action against it. A squad of the entertainment tax department sealed UCN’s Nagpur office on Wenesday at around 2.30 pm, causing disconnection of telecast across major parts of Vidarbha.

There was no telecast for five hours, angering cricket fans and general subscribers. The squad of the entertainment tax department held discussions with the company and settled the matter temporarily at 7.30 pm after which telecast resumed. The squad left after UCN coughed up 16.50 lakh immediately and assured to pay the remaining dues before March 31.

Subscribers question govt department’s raid

While the raid caused a stir among cable operators, it created unrest among UCN subscribers. The raid has raised several eyebrows. UCN subscribers expressed anger over the administration”s choice of the day for raiding UCN office. Subscribers questioned as to why did the administration choose the specific day after ignoring the pending dues for so long. The fault of not paying the tax was completely that of the company. According to users, it is unfair to make them suffer by stopping telecast.