India to guarantee STB production?

India’s government is looking at guaranteeing the production on locally manufactured set-top boxes. The scheme under consideration by the country’s Ministry of Information & Broadcasting would see 40 per cent of indigenous output “reserved” by the government in a bid to promote local sales.

Local production would also soften the blow caused by the plummeting value to the Rupee against the Dollar, which has had the effect of doubling the cost of imported boxes.

But India’s government had tried intervention before when it slapped an extra import tax on foreign boxes in a bid to stimulate local production.  Indeed, India’s drive towards digitisation of its major cities has so far seen only around 5 per cent of boxes supplied by local electronics manufacturers.

India’s Consumer Electronics & Appliance Manufacturers Association is promising that it will turn out 20 million boxes, but this is but a fraction of the 77 million – or more – needed to complete the digitisation process.

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