DAS expected to remain priority with new I&B Ministers

NEW DELHI: Manufacturers of Digital Addressable System set top boxes today assured the Information and Broadcasting Ministry that they had the adequate quantity of boxes needed and it was now up to local cable operators to place orders for them.

This assurance was given at a meeting chaired by I& B Secretary Bimal Julka at the initiative of the Ministry.

Ministry sources told that the manufacturers generally thanked the government for its proactive role in the matter of DAS.

The Ministry was assured that the manufacturers will be able to meet the demand of 110 million boxes needed for the final two phases of cable television digitisation.

The manufacturers appreciated the efforts of the government for resolving their long pending demand of C-form. They said they have sufficient installed capacity to meet the full demands of STBs locally and said the measures taken by the government would help the indigenous manufacturing industry to give employment to about 50,000 people and would attract an investment of about Rs 500 crore. It would generate local support facility for repair of STBs and would also help in smooth implementation of digitization initiative in the country.

The Finance Ministry had on 13 August extended the facility of Form 'C' under section 8(3) (b) of Central Sales Tax Act 1956 to Set Top Boxes thus fulfilling the major demand of the domestic STB manufacturers. Domestic STB manufacturers would charge CST @ 2 per cent against VAT of 12-14 per cent being paid earlier.

Meanwhile, both I&B Minister Arun Jaitley and Minister of State Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore have in their meetings with senior officials said that DAS has to be given the uppermost priority.

It is learnt that the meeting of the Consultative Committee of members of Parliament of the I&B Ministry slated for tomorrow will also take up the issue of DAS of cable television networks.

The Phase-III of digitization oe completed by December 2015 would cover all other urban areas (Municipal Corporations/ Municipalities) which were not covered in first two phases. Phase-IV to be completed by December 2016 would cover the rest of India.

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