Phase III of digitisation likely to begin from April 2015: Javadekar

NEW DELHI: Just two days after the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Prakash Javadekar officially announced the extension of deadlines for phase III and phase IV of digitisation, he has now announced that the phase III of digitisation is likely to begin from April 2015 and will end the same year in December. “And phase IV will commence as soon as the phase III is completed,” Javadekar said.

The I&B Minister made the announcement at the ongoing CII Big Summit 2014. “There is some confusion with regards to the extension of digitisation dates.  Tentatively, it will start from 1 April 2015, the final decision on this will be taken soon,” he added.

The Ministry will also form a committee consisting of all the stakeholders. “So unlike what people feel, we are not delaying digitisation. Our commitment is having a ‘Digital India’. Even a household in a remote village has the right to experience digital viewing,” he informed.

He also asked the direct to home (DTH) and multi system operators (MSOs) to advertise to the consumers how they are selling expensive set top boxes at cheaper rates. “If the customers understand that they are benefitting with digitisation, they will be supportive of the action,” said Javadekar adding that digitisation is on track.

Elaborating on the theme of the summit: ‘Monetising strategies: The tryst for a $100 billion Indian M&E industry’, he said, “Aiming low is a crime. So an industry which in 2014 is already a $50 billion industry, cannot say that by 2020, it will become a $100 billion industry. This is not correct. We must aim high. This industry has immense potential to grow.”

Javadekar in order to boost the fraternity said that no one had thought in 1992 when cable TV started that so many crore of households will be connected to cable, but it happened. No one had also thought that people would pay anywhere between Rs 200 to Rs 500 for entertainment, but people are paying. “Entertainment has become a necessity today and so people are ready to spend. So $100 billion is achievable and so we need to aim high,” he said.

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