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TRAI pushes for more of local devices in broadcasting sector

In line with the government’s Make in India push, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has floated a consultation paper to increase the share of locally manufactured equipment and devices in the broadcasting distribution sector. It has sought stakeholder views on promoting local manufacturing in the TV broadcasting sector on its suo moto consultation paper, including whether a PLI scheme is needed.

This includes equipment used for transmission of broadcast of channels such as head-end, back haul transmission as well as devices for consumer premises equipment such as Set-top-box.

“Digitalisation of the Indian broadcasting sector began in 2012 and was completed across the country by March 2017. It provided a unique opportunity for the growth of local manufacturers to cater to the demand. However, the share of locally manufactured equipment/devices in the broadcasting distribution networks remains quite low,” TRAI said in a statement.

Atmanirbhar ecosystem
The paper aims to identify underlying challenges as well as enabling measures that can facilitate the transition from an import-driven industry to a sustained ‘Atmanirbhar ecosystem’, the regulator added.

The consultation paper deep dives into issues such as whether manufacturers have adequate local manufacturing capacities as well as measures that need to be taken to improve competitiveness. It has also sought views on reasons for limited market share of local set-top-boxes.

“Should the government extend the PLI scheme to the television broadcasting sector? Which equipment deployed in the TV broadcast network should be covered under the PLI scheme?” the consultation paper added.

The regulator also sought views on whether the existing policy measures and fiscal initiatives adequately address the needs of the Indian television broadcast manufacturing sector. The paper also seeks views on “cost disadvantages” faced by Indian manufacturers compared to international competitors. The Hindu BusinessLine

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