Top Story

e4m_logo.png

Home >> Media - TV >> Article

Increase in service tax is probably to bring the rate closer to rates expected under GST: Sudhanshu Vats

02-March-2015
Font Size   16
Increase in service tax is probably to bring the rate closer to rates expected under GST: Sudhanshu Vats

Two words sum up the essence of Budget 2015: balance and clarity. Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley walked the tightrope by staying away from big bang announcements that might have strained the fiscal position, while taking substantial steps on matters of tax, social security and public investment (especially in Infrastructure). On the reduction in corporate tax rates to 25%, the 4-year implementation roadmap is a welcome addition. This is the clarity that the corporate sector needs as far as tax policy is concerned.

While personal income tax slabs remain unchanged, higher exemptions are targeted towards savings and would add to retirement incomes in taxpayers’ wallets. 'Wallets' too will don a different connotation given the FM's vision for a cashless society. The clarity on the corporate tax reduction road map is a welcome development for investments in the Indian M&E sector.

The industry demand for reduction in withholding tax rates (to 10%) on royalty and FTS payments to non-residents has finally been granted. The increase in service tax is probably to bring the rate closer to the rates expected under the GST regime. In that context, the step is the proverbial bitter pill for our industry. There has been some reduction in the customs duties for certain categories of TVs and their components. Hopefully, this will make ‘Manoranjan’ more affordable.

The setting up of a Centre for Film Production, Animation and Gaming in the North East is also noteworthy. In fact, as an industry we must focus on this region given its natural beauty and picture-perfect shooting locales. I hope that other states follow Andhra Pradesh’s example and quickly execute their portion of the National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN). Our consumers have become screen agnostic and we need to ramp up our digital infrastructure to keep pace with their needs.

I must compliment the FM for his announcement of social security schemes for the vulnerable sections of society as a vital cornerstone towards inclusive growth and development. This year’s budget seemed like the perfect opening innings of a test match. For India to ‘fly’ (and fly it will), the foundation of its ascendance needs to be strong. This budget has done just that by placing  our country on a strong footing.

As a sector, we mustn’t forget that a large part of our growth potential can be unleashed by policy announcements that lie outside the ambit of the Union Budget.  These are exciting times for our sector and I am certain that the government will not disappoint us in the coming months. All in all, this is a 'Make in India' budget that will truly 'Make India’.

The author is Chairman, CII National Committee on Media & Entertainment, and Group CEO, Viacom18 Media.

Tags Union Budget Sudhanshu Vats Viacom18 Media corporate tax GST NOFN

Vijay Mansukhani, speaks to exchange4media about the resurgence of Onida, the scope of growth of consumer electronics market in India and the reasons why Indian consumer electronics brands don’t compete on a global scale

Projjol Banerjea opens up about hiring Anne Macdonald and GroupM's Rob Norman, and the brand's new identity

Meera Iyer tells exchange4media that in FY 2016/17, bigbasket clocked a revenue of Rs 1,400 crore. The online supermarket currently stands at 70,000 orders a day, with operations in 25 cities.

CMO, Kashyap Vadapalli on the start-up’s marketing play, why it has decided to stay away from IPL and response to its furniture rental apps

In terms of affiliates, India ranks on the top. Spurred by the fast growth of mobile users and hence internet users, there are millions of websites, apps, WAP-sites and blogs using affiliate marketing...

Insecurity in the workplace due to the idea of AI encroaching on your job, or being sidelined at work because of your small town background? Sandeep Goyal has the right answers to help you deal with w...

As National Sales Head at News18.com, Ashish aims to bring on board a maximum number of advertising partners and consolidate the network’s position as a leader in the space.