Budget 2019 – Media Industry

Various trade bodies of the Media sector have sought reconsideration of the GST rates ever since the comprehensive dual GST was introduced in India. Indian Broadcasting Foundation urged the government to treat television and radio on par with newspapers. It has pressed the government to classify TV under 5% GST slab. Radio is a free-to-air medium that reaches masses across the country.

Advertisement revenue the FM Radio industry’s bread-and-butter. Reduction in GST tax rates on par with Print Advertising can boost the growth of FM Radio industry.

Currently, GST on the selling of space for advertisement in print media is leviable @ 5% if the advertisement agencies act on principal to principal basis. On the other hand, GST @ 18% leviable if the advertisement agencies sell advertisement space as an agent of the print media outlet on a commission basis.

Broadcast Audience Research Council, a joint industry company founded by Advertisers, Broadcasters, and Media Agencies is seeking an exemption from 18 percent GST and a lower TDS rate.

Since the digitisation of the cable television in India, the Cable & Satellite industry is primarily driven by new technology and considerable investments in set-top boxes. Cable & Satellite industry is anticipating a reduction in the overall taxation of set-top boxes.

The print media industry in India was in doldrums due to an abnormal hike in newsprint prices. The price prices skyrocketed last year to $820 per tonne. Frequent fluctuations in newsprint prices are hitting the print industry hard. The Finance Minister should keep this in mind and take necessary measures and keep a minimum price for newsprint.

The majority of the equipment from set-top boxes to studio equipment are imported into the country. The industry will be significantly benefited if there is a waiver or reduction of customs duty on hardware and equipment.―The Hans India

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