Govt. cuts customs duties on set top boxes

NEW DELHI / MUMBAI: The government today took a huge step towards incentivising the rollout of set-top boxes into the market by cutting tariffs on the import of STBs to 5 per cent from the current level of 25 per cent basic customs duty.

As per the bare bones information available with at the time of posting this report, the latest notification to be issued relating to the rollout of conditional access systems (CAS) in the country, states: Under Indian Customs Act 1962 Section 25 Subsection 4, duties on IRDs (integrated receiver decoders) also known as set-top boxes - Duty is 5 per cent.

Interestingly the notification is dated 1 March 2003, which throws up the inevitable question of why the government kept quiet about it for just under three months.

It may be recalled that at a meeting on 4 March among the Consumer Electronics Traders and Manufacturers Association (CETMA), the apex body of electronics goods manufacturers in India, information & broadcasting ministry officials and finance ministry officials, it was firmly conveyed that there would be no reduction in duties on STBs.

If what the notification states is correct, total duties on STBs will come down from the present 51 per cent duty (25 per cent basic customs duty, 15 per cent countervailing duty and 4 per cent additional taxes), to 34 per cent. It needs stating herewith that this is an initial assessment that is making as further clarifications are still being sought.

Full details of what this notification states and what its implications are will be posted as soon as they become available so stay tuned.

Also Read:

STB duties: finance ministry won't budge

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