Budget announcements welcome: Smita Jha, PricewaterhouseCoopers

10 Jul,2014

Smita Jha

By Smita Jha

 

We welcome the announcements made in the Union Budget 2014 in the E&M sector especially those relating to budgetary allocations for the sports sector and the National Centre for Excellence for animation, gaming and visual effects.

 

​​he Sports sector in India is much in need of transformation. Budgetary allocations towards upgrading sports infrastructure, training, nurturing best talent and setting up a sports university are in the right direction though the funds allocated are significantly less than what are needed. However, we welcome the recognition from the ​​overnment that this sector requires significant investment.

 

PwC has been closely involved with the Government for conceptualisation of the National Centre of Excellence on Animation, Gaming and Visual Effects and we thus welcome the nod from the new Government for its implementation.

 

We also welcome the ​FM’s comments on promoting FDI and expect that it will translate into 100% FDI being allowed in sectors of media industry such as television broadcasting, cable and DTH, the proposal for which is already pending with the Government. Expediting the FDI increase will help provide the much needed stimuli to the 3rd and 4th phases of digitisation. We also believe the reductions in customs duty on LCD and LEC of sub-19 panels will also indirectly provide filip to the national digitisation agenda.

 

Budgetary allocations for promoting community radio are also welcome, though the sector policies needs re-visiting to ensure the viability of these stations on a long-term basis.

 

While some sections of the industry are not happy with the online and mobile advertising being included under the service tax, we believe that the philosophy of pruning the negative list in order to promote GST in the industry, is in the right direction and thus inclusion of such services in the taxation is a small price to pay in the short-term.

 

Announcement of launch of Kisan TV and Aruna Prabha TV are also welcome in the context of their respective situations but hope these channels are commercially viable and do not add further burden to Public Service Broadcaster, Prasar Bharati, which is already under severe financial pressure.

 

Smita Jha is Leader- Entertainment & Media Practice India, PricewaterhouseCoopers

 

 

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