Higher import duty on STBs will help local manufacturers: Manish Tewari

NEW DELHI: Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari feels the higher import duty levied on set top boxes (STBs) announced in the Union Budget will give an opportunity for domestic manufacturers to benefit and not set back the digitisation process.

"It is important that when such a huge exercise is undertaken, which involves a revenue of about $4 to $5 billion, essentially paid by the people of India and the multi-system operators, there should be certain tangible benefits which must accrue to Indian manufacturers." he added while addressing the delegates of Ficci Frames in Mumbai via video-link from New Delhi.
He has said digitisation is a major project that will ensure transparency and bring benefits to all in the long run. While the digitisation process has been set in motion following a legal remit, "there is also a social contract which calls upon all stakeholders in this, whether they are broadcasters, MSOs or cable operators to sort out the issues inter-se, because eventually, it needs to be a win-win situation for the broadcasters and the consumers."

He added that "If any section within this large family feels short changed, then obviously there‘s a cause of concern."
Tewari reiterated the firm backing of the government for the growth of the media and entertainment industry and said "this industry is not only a huge economic multiplier, but it also has the potential of absorbing creative intellect of young people. It is therefore incumbent upon government to put in place appropriate mechanisms which try and play the role of a facilitator and an enabler."

Digitisation was a dominant topic of discussion at the media and entertainment industry‘s mega event Ficci Frames 2013 held in Mumbai from 12 to 14 March, with policy makers, industry leaders and experts deliberating on various aspects of the process.

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