IBF seeks relief package for the broadcast sector

21 Apr,2020

By A Correspondent


The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), has sought the government’s support to deal with the economic crises in the television broadcast sector as a fallout of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.


In its letter to Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, IBF has made the following requests:


1. Regulatory moratorium for the sector for at least next 18 months.

2. Phased resumption of production activities.

3. Extension of moratorium period for GST payment.

4. Mandating digital payments of subscription and advertising dues to broadcasters.

5. Advisory to DPOs in respect of release of payment of subscription fees for the period up to February 29, 2020

6. Waiver of processing fee and temporary live up-linking fee for live sporting events for a period of one year from the resumption of normal business activities.

7. Increase in time period of one to two years for operationalisation of new channels which have been granted permission.

8. Suspension of requirement of Performance Bank Guarantees in respect of channels sought to be launched for a period of one year.

9. Waiver of carriage fee due to Prasar Bharati for three months (April, May and June) for FTA channels on Prasar Bharati’s Free Dish Platform.

10. Deferment of payment due to Prasar Bharati for Free Dish carriage by 31 March 2020 be deferred until July 2020.

11. All pending refunds even exceeding Rs. 5 Lacs should be urgently processed.

12. The first instalment of advance tax (due on 15 June 2020) should be done away with and taxpayers be allowed to pay the 2nd instalment (due on 15 September 2020) directly without any interest liability

13. The due date for deposit of TDS for the months of March and April 2020 should be extended to 31 May 2020 without any interest liability.

14. Extension /waiver of permission for FX payments for foreign satellite transponder hiring.

15. Lower rate of TDS from 10 to 2 per cent on subscription revenues

16. Payment of stamp duty on agreements should be deferred upto expiry of ninety (90) days’ from the date of lifting of nationwide lockdown.

17. Allow discharge of GST reverse charge obligation through GST input credit rather than paying in cash.

18. Extend all existing stay of income tax demand for next 6 months without any new hearing.


Said N P Singh, President, IBF: “The outbreak of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown have posed several challenges for the television broadcast sector.  With complete cessation of  production  of  television  shows,  cancellations  of  live  sporting  events  and  scheduled advertisements, advertisement  bookings  nosediving  by ~50 per cent;  delays  in  payments  by advertising agencies/advertisers and distribution platform operators, the Broadcast sector is facing the brunt of the slowdown,” adding: “Moreover,  while  we  welcome  the  compliance  and  statutory  relaxations  granted  by  the Government in its latest notification of Apri 15l, the broadcast sector is seeking a stimulus package from the Government in the form of economic relief and regulatory flexibility so that all Broadcasters especially the smaller businesses can be helped to get back on track. IBF has also requested the Government for reduction in GST rate on Digital services (B2C), automatic  refund  of  input  credit  and  immediate  processing  and  issuance  of  lower withholding order (LTDS)”.



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