Tata Play and Bharti Telemedia, two of the largest Direct-to-Home (DTH) operators in the country, have voiced their opinion for bringing a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the DTH sector too. These companies want to manufacture more Set-Top Boxes (STBs) within the country and want the govt to introduce a PLI scheme for them too.
However, the key question is, how much does the government want to bet on the DTH sector, given the future is in the over-the-top (OTT) segment. DTH sector isn’t going away anytime soon, but a PLI scheme would mean the government will have to pay incentives out of its pocket to push the local manufacturing of STBs ahead. While it sounds good, there might be a few worries for the Government of India (GoI) here. But even so, the thought of locally manufactured STBs doesn’t sound bad when for same India has to depend on South-East Asia and China.
It is worth noting that DTH operators are already remodelling their services and including OTT benefits and services for their customers. Most likely, the government should listen to the DTH sector, even though the DTH companies keep witnessing a rising subscriber churn rate every month that goes by.
PLI Scheme for DTH Sector to Boost Employment and Make India More Self Reliant
According to a report from The Hindu Businessline, Bharti Infratel said that the inclusion of STBs under the PLI scheme would propel the DTH industry forward and also boost employment in the country.
Dish TV kept a very big argument in the front of the government by saying that the demand for acquiring Set-Top Boxes has shifted to the grey market (unauthorised channel) because of high cess and import duties from official channels. This is affecting the revenues for the GoI negatively and also bringing in poor quality products, all of which can be helped by a PLI scheme for the DTH sector.