Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is slated to present the Union Budget 2018 on February 1 and there are a few things which the media industry should expect from the Budget. The media sector, which carries the digital revolution in the country was closely satisfied and called the previous budget digital economy friendly, they must be expecting the same result this year as well. As the media industry is evolving and is at its peak, for the radio industry, license fees and FDI policies are some areas that need focus, the industry thinks.
According to a report by Best Media Info, Tarun Katial, CEO, Big FM said, “From a radio point of view, lowering the licence fee for operating in smaller cities and a better FDI regime will encourage more investments, which will boost long-term growth for the industry. I also feel that the employment sentiment in the country is positively poised, and the government should consider allocating a significant percentage of funds to create jobs in the dynamic M&E sector, which has been receiving a lot of attention from aspiring job seekers.”
For the multiplexes, GST was introduced with a purpose to include multiple taxes levied by the State and the Union. This had come as a major relief to all the industries including the media and entertainment industry, with, of course, industry discomfort on the rate of GST is undeniable. However, many states (like Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, etc) have started imposing local body entertainment tax on movies. Levy of local body entertainment tax on movies exhibited defeats the whole purpose of GST. Therefore, the government should either remove the levy in itself or at least put a minimum cap on the exhibition of movies.