Budget review for M&E: Smita Jha, PwC

28 Feb,2013

By Smita Jha
Leader, E&M Practice India, PwC


On overall basis, the M&E industry sends several recommendations every year to the ministry. It is of course, not realistic that all of them should be met. And it is not to say that wishlist not be sent every year. It is not realistic that everything on the wishlist be met. There were two things that were talked about, in regards to M&E industry. On FM Radio, it is not very clear from the budget perspective what the statement meant. If at all the statement means that Phase 3 licensing would be undertaken, then I am very pleased. If that is what the statement meant, though it is not very clear yet. Then, of course there is custom duty increase on STBs. In principle, this move is to encourage local manufacturing of STBs. In that sense, it is a step in the right direction for the prospect of local manufacturers. But having said that and keeping the DAS deadlines in mind, I am not sure if it will really benefit the industry. With customs duty being raised, the cost will be passed onto either the consumer or be borne by the STB importers. Given that the prices of STBs are also very competitive, it is not a very good news for MSOs and LCOs since they might have to bear the costs.”


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