Govt may shift digitisation in 4 metros to June

NEW DELHI: The government may allow the digitisation of cable TV in the four metros to be complete by June next year, instead of the 31 March target date approved by the Cabinet.

Information and Broadcasting Ministry sources told that the Cabinet, while approving the digitisation ordinance, had laid a provision of giving a six-month notice (after the Cabinet decision) to cable operators.

This means that digitisation in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai will not be completed by March 2012 as announced earlier. However, the Government has made it clear that this will not affect the deadlines for other phases and the complete switchover from analogue will be achieved by December 2014.
Involving an expected investment of up to Rs 400 billion, digitisation across the country is scheduled to be complete by 2014 year-end.

The government has referred to the Committee of Secretaries to take up the issue of financial costs.

The committee, which also includes revenue secretary, IT secretary and Information and Broadcasting secretary, will give its considered view within a month. The Finance Ministry had only been approached for exemption of tariffs.

The I&B ministry had earlier suggested measures like waiving the 5 per cent duty on set-top boxes that would have to be imported and installed by the consumers.

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