For the first time, entertainment industry delegation will present its pre-budget memorandum to Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha. The delegation, which will be led by Information & Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj, is slated to present its list of demands to Mr. Sinha on January 16.
Before presenting the pre-budget memorandum, Ms Swaraj would meet representatives of the industry and business chambers on January 7 to identify ‘legitimate demands’, which will be backed by her ministry. The Rs 12,000 crore-entertainment industry encompasses films, television, cable, music, multiplex theatres and event management companies.
Broadcasting companies, which dominate the entertainment sector, is expected to seek the removal of the 5 per cent service tax levied on the industry last year. This exemption, if granted, would cost the exchequer Rs 95 crores per annum.
The broadcasters may press for waiver of customs duty on uplinking and downlinking equipment and on content creation hardware for five years. The current customs duty on such equipment is in the range of 30-60 per cent.
The film industry, under the umbrella of the All India Film Producers Council, is planning to demand removal of service tax and waiver of customs duty on cinematographic equipment.
Film makers are expected to ask for removal of the ban on import of digital versatile discs (DVDs) and seek their import at nil rate of duty.
The entertainment industry feels that only with the help of such sops can it realise the targeted turnover of over Rs 30,000 crores by 2005.