Cable operators call off strike

Dispatch

NEW DELHI — Cable operators in Bangladesh ended a four-day strike July 22 that had switched off services to an estimated 1 million television homes.

The 1,500 TV cable operators relented after talks with Information Minister Tariqul Islam, who assured them that the government would look into their demands to scrap 30% taxes on cable television providers.

However, the Cable Operators Assn. of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Cable Network Owners Assn. agreed only to switch on toll-free foreign television channels and said pay channels would be resumed after further talks. They have also asked for a five-year tax break and lower rates on foreign pay channels.

The strike left only two terrestrial television channels available to viewers — state-run Bangladesh Television and the private Ekushey Television.

The action angered viewers, many of whom turned to cinemas and videostores for entertainment where prices were hiked to exploit the situations.

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