The Union Budget 2016 might not have had any direct implications for the television sector but Broadcast Leaders we spoke with felt that the newly proposed tax reforms could lead to a more positive tax regime.
Sharing his thoughts about the Union Budget 2016, Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO of Viacom18 and Chairman of CII’s National Media and Entertainment Committee said, “Kudos to the government for presenting a disciplined and inclusive budget. The emphasis on rural development and commitment to the fiscal deficit target augur well for the economy in the long-run. The proposal for a more conducive excise duty regime for STBs and other ‘entertainment-access devices’ is welcome. While many of us from the industry were anticipating more sector-specific announcements, I’m sure that this budget will benefit the larger economy and therefore, by extension, have a positive impact on our industry as well.”
M.K. Anand, MD & CEO of Times Network, was of the opinion that digitization is the most important factor for the broadcast sector currently and he felt that the excise duty changes proposed for Set Top boxes will help in the last mile infrastructure of DAS 3 and 4. “Overall, a stable and positive fiscal situation is good for the economy and that will support our ad sales growth projections. All in all, budget 2016 looks good for the broadcast sector,” he said.
Commenting on the Union Budget 2016, NP Singh, CEO of Sony Pictures Networks India, though agreeing that from a media industry perspective there were no major changes, said, “I feel that a change in the definition of industrial undertaking for the services industry as well as a push to define the GST roadmap would have been sector-positive. There is a landmark attempt in the budget to simplify the tax administration which should herald a friendlier tax regime. From an overall budget perspective, the enhanced public spending through various social schemes and infrastructure investments should further help to expedite economic growth. The government has also balanced spending with fiscal prudence by reigning-in fiscal deficit.”