Government cuts basic customs duty on set-top boxes to 5%

New Delhi:
The Indian government has slashed the basic customs duty on set-top boxes (STBs) to 5 per cent from 25 per cent while doing away with the countervailing duty and the special additional custom duty. However, these concessions will be available up to 31 July 2003 only.

The duty changes would result in the prices of STBs across the various ranges coming down by around 45 per cent, thereby making them much more affordable to a wider section of the population. According to industry estimates, the price of a STB that was earlier costing Rs 4,000 will now be available at around Rs 2,700.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says the duty component for STBs has been reduced drastically keeping in mind the consumer interest. "Prices could fall by 45 per cent."

Earlier STBs used to attract 25 per cent basic customs duty, 16 per cent countervailing duty and 4 per cent special additional duty, besides sales tax ranging between 4 and 12 per cent.