The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is planning to tie up with top online rating agencies to develop a common currency for the Internet fraternity in India.
“We are in talks with some of the top rating agencies and may hire up to three agencies and assign them different tasks. We will finalise everything within two to three months time,” said Dr Subho Ray, the new President of IAMAI, who replaced Preeti Desai on April 1, 2006.
On the issue of the currency to be used to rank the websites, Ray said that a final decision was yet to be taken in this regard. “It would be more from the advertisers’ perspective. But the problem in India is that unlike in other countries, where there are many certified currencies available, here we don’t even have a single credible rating for the online community. We want to fill that void,” Ray said.
Elaborating on how the rating could help both the advertisers and the publisher, he said, “If we can tell the advertiser that these number of people visit a particular website between 9 am and 5 pm, which could be the prime time for online media, then the advertisers will have a better understanding of their focus audience and the publisher will get value for money.”
Ray also met the Information Technology Ministry officials in the Capital. On his discussions with the officials, Ray said, “There is an Internet Tax Freedom Act in the US, which exempts any sort of tax on online business, and now this business contributes 3 per cent to the US GDP. We request the government to come out with a similar policy and exempt this domain from any tax for next five years.”
“Unlike many offline businesses, including the IT sector, online business unfortunately enjoys no tax benefit in this country, though this could be a major infrastructure to empower and employ millions of people,” he pointed out.
To increase the broadband penetration, Ray observed that broadband companies be subsidised so that they could provide Internet connections at a cheaper rate. “The government should get its agenda clear and think creatively or else it is difficult to connect and empower one billion people of this country using the power of this new media.”