entertainment industry: CII
07 January 2002
In a meeting with Minister for Information and Broadcasting
Sushma Swaraj, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
has put forward the following recommendations to give a
boost to the entertainment and media industry.
CII has suggested that the service tax levied on television
broadcasters should be removed and in case this is not possible,
an abatement of 50 per cent should be given.
According to CII, the media and the entertainment industry
could help the government to address certain national concerns
such as education and literacy programmes. To encourage
private channels to promote public service broadcasting,
CII feels all contributions to and expenditure on public
service broadcasters, covering the areas of education, HIV/Aids
should be exempted from income tax.
CII has recommended that the customs duties on content creation
software like digital camcorders, digital video and tape-recorders,
digital video tapes, recorders and video monitors, which
currently ranges in the level of 51 to 63 per cent, should
be brought down to zero for the next five years.
CII has pointed out that once the TDS rates are determined,
it should be valid for two years. Any changes required should
be made one year in advance or in the first month of the
fiscal year related to the assessment year. At present the
TDS rates for channels are determined on a year-to-year
has pointed out that the excise duty levied in audio CDs
has lead to a closure of audio and video CD production units,
causing a hardship to all manufacturers and companies. With
regard to the music industry, CII has suggested that all
recorded CDs should be exempted from excise duty and in
case this is not possible, a flat rate of excise duty of
Rs 4 to Rs 5 should be levied on CDs.
According to CII, the domestic music and entertainment industry
is being impacted by large-scale piracy. The film industry
loses around Rs 400 crore annually to piracy and 40 per
cent of the music market is captured by it. CII has suggested
that initiatives have to be taken to curb piracy and an
anti-piracy fund should be set up and all contributions
to such funds should be exempted from income tax.
The confederation has further recommended that 1 per cent
of service tax collections from the entertainment and media
industry may be utilised to set up a dedicated anti-piracy
fund. CII has stated that a small group should be constituted
to regulate the availability of MP3 players in India as
no legal MP3 software is currently made in India.
In order to enable existing theatres to modernise themselves
and be profitable, CII has suggested that the 10-per cent
depreciation rate for theatres should be increased and should
be equated to 20 per cent for the hotel industry. According
to CII, the need of the hour is rationalisation and formalisation
of the entertainment tax across the country. A committee
similar to the VAT committee should be set up and be given
a specific deadline to come up with suggestions, feels CII.
With regard to import duty, CII has suggested that all projection
equipments under the tariff head 9007.20, sound equipment
under the tariff head 85.18 and screens under the tariff
head 9010.60 should be exempted from the countervailing
CII feels that the current 12,000 movie theatres are inadequate
and there is a need to create new movie theatres and modernise
existing ones. To meet this end, CII has suggested that
for new multiplexes and a completely renovated
theatre special tax holiday for income tax and service tax
should be provided.
To give a boost to the print media, small and medium newspapers
should be allowed to access funds at a lower costs and CII
feels that a Rs 100-crore fund should be set up for the
easy availability of funds.