Centre to intervene if countervailing duty passed onto consumers

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New Delhi, July 27 (ANI): Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni said on Monday that her ministry could intervene to see that the burden of five per cent countervailing duty on Set Top Boxes (STBs) was not passed onto consumers.

Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Soni said her ministry would wait for a response from manufacturers, Direct to Home (DTH) operators and Multi System Operators (MSOs) who provide the boxes to consumers, before intervening in the matter.

Soni said DTH operators and MSO had so far taken no decision to pass the burden of STB price increase to consumers. The Government would not for the time being intervene through the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

The Ministry had spoken to manufacturers of STBs and suggested to them to decrease the prices of their product, and had also given them a time-frame to give their response, she said

Responding to a suggestion given by the BJP member Ravishankar Prasad for the intervention of TRAI to fix the rates of STBs, Soni said sometimes DTH operators voluntarily reduce prices to win over customers, so the Ministry did not want to preempt fixation of price by going to TRAI. (ANI)

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