Information and Broadcasting ministry will consult the Finance and Commerce ministries on exploring the possibility of having locally-manufactured set- top boxes for continuing the digitisation process rather than depending on imports, I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar said here today.
The minister said the decision on the issue was pertinent considering the starting of third and fourth phase of digitisation.
"Before starting third and fourth phase of digitisation, we will have to take a decision on the availability of set-top boxes," Javadekar said.
He said a total of 11 crore set-top boxes will be required.
"We are yet to take a decision whether to import them (set-top boxes) or give a stimulus to the local industry which will produce them", he said.
Cable TV networks in the country have been mandated to go digital by December 2014, which entails that TV signals may be received only through STBs.
"If imported, once set-top boxes get conked out, they cannot be repaired. We will have a meeting with Finance and Commerce ministries because certain decisions about import and about impetus to the local industry need to be taken," Javadekar said.
The minister, however, refused to comment if the digitisation deadline will be extended.
"The decision on implementation of third and fourth stage of digitisation will be taken only after (holding) meeting with the (Finance and Commerce) ministries," he said.
Javadekar, who recently took charge of the ministry, said the main focus of his ministry was to ensure freedom of press.
"Dialogue will be held with all stake-holders in digital, print and electronic media to find solutions to various issues that are pending," Javadekar said.
The minister also said Doordarshan and All India Radio would be made competitive so that they work on par with other channels.