Private FM radio players feel neglected post the announcement of the Union Budget 2008-09 on February 29, 2008. Radio players were expecting some reduction in customs duties, but were disappointed as nothing specific was announced for the industry.
Reacting to the Budget recommendations, Tarun Katial, COO, Big FM, said, “The Budget, while good for the common man, has nothing phenomenal for the media industry in general or the radio industry in particular. Service tax should have been reduced, especially since the radio industry is at its infancy and has great employment and media opportunities in the semi-urban and rural markets.”
He, however, welcomed the Finance Minister’s move not to increase corporate tax.
Apurva Purohit, CEO, Radio City, and President, AROI (Association of Radio Operators of India), feels that reduction in base rate of excise duty from 16 per cent to 14 per cent is positive for the industry overall.
“Development and supply of content for use in advertising purposes has been brought under the service tax net. This is likely to see an increase in advertising cost, bringing a slowdown in advertisement revenues to broadcasters and the print media, which will ultimately be passed on to the consumer,” she further said, adding that there was nothing much for the sector.
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