Casbaa protests retrospective tax on foreign satellites

NEW DELHI: The Cable and Satellite Broadcasters Association of Asia (Casbaa) has protested the decision of the Indian Government to impose a 10 percent royalty fee on foreign satellite communications services and make the fee retroactive to cover the last 36 years.

In a letter to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Casbaa said the rule’s retroactive feature “is against the basic international rules and principles of fair play.”

It also warned that if approved by Parliament, this new tax will cripple Indian broadcast and other communications at a time when India faces a shortage of domestic satellite bandwidth.

Casbaa, which has 130 members in the Asian region, said the Finance Bill 2012 would characterise fees paid to non-Indian satellite operators as a royalty subject to a minimum 10 per cent withholding that would be forwarded to Indian tax authorities.

Casbaa said international tax treaties have refused to class satellite communications services as a royalty, which means the satellite operators can‘t be permitted to claim a tax credit in their home countries. This is equivalent to double taxation and would put India in breach of tax treaties that the Indian government has signed.

Even more striking is the retrospective nature of the proposed law that would claim the 10 per cent withholding for payments made since 1976, the year that this section of India’s tax law first addressed foreign royalty payments.

Casbaa said the tax amendment would merely clarify the royalty definition and make it applicable to transactions back to 1976, but that certain concepts in the proposed amendment — including conversion for downlinking of any signal — barely existed in India in the 1970s.

“It is inconceivable to think that a concept that did not exist in 1976 was intended to have been present in the original legislation,” Casbaa said in the letter sent by its chief executive Simon Twiston Davies.

Casbaa said its members now represent about 54 per cent of the total satellite bandwidth used by or on behalf of Indian media and corporate customers.

Casbaa said that, faced with a 10 per cent withholding that cannot be compensated by a credit in their own tax homes, foreign satellite operators active in India will be forced to pass on the royalty withholding to their customers.

Because India is facing a shortage of satellite capacity as a result of Isro’s regulatory practices and the inability of India’s domestic satellite system to keep up with demand, “Indian companies have no alternative but to rely on services offered by international operators,” Casbaa said.

Latest Reads
HAL Robotics ropes in Navanit Samaiyar as board member and advisor

MUMBAI: HAL Robotics has roped in Navanit Samaiyar as its board member and advisor. Samaiyar has a record of setting up, scaling and transforming businesses across a very wide cross section of industries spanning from IT/ ITeS to steel, telecom, engineering goods, earthmoving machinery, logistics...

Technology Hardware Components
Republic TV launches Android app

MUMBAI: Republic TV is on a roll. From rocking the ratings chart in launch week itself to going international, the channel has added one more accomplishment to its kitty. The Republic TV Android app is now live.

Technology Software Applications
STB cos in India, China enhancing features, providing customised solutions, Technavio enlists top vendors

MUMBAI: The global STB market is characterised by intense competition as the market is saturated in developed countries. The market share of these players is declining because of the entry of new players. The STB companies are enhancing the features of STBs and providing customised solutions to...

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
India's PFT Clear Media ERP suite to help US' PBS content delivery

MUMBAI: Prime Focus Technologies (PFT), the technology arm of Prime Focus, announced that its CLEAR™ Media ERP Suite has been selected by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to enhance their Network Operations Center (NOC) ecosystem efficiencies and sustainability, with the objective of reducing...

Technology Software Applications
Broadcasters, OTTs to gain as Via adds xHE-AAC at special rate

MUMBAI: Via Licensing Corporation, a intellectual property solutions provider, has announced the upcoming availability of Extended High Efficiency AAC (xHE-AAC) as part of the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) patent pool. The expanded patent pool licence will be available at no additional cost to...

Technology Software Applications
Tata Comm to deliver Motorsport videos on global devices

MUMBAI: Tata Communications will now deliver video content for viewers' all devices over its global network. The two have partnered to power the growth of the network’s internet television platforms.

Technology Software Applications
How to create live video content sans pros, convert radio broadcast into visual show

MUMBAI: ChyronHego will be showcasing its live production, automation solutions at Broadcast India show in Mumbai in mid-October.

Technology Software Applications
Sony renews IP licence deal with TiVo

MUMBAI: TiVo Corporation, a leader in entertainment technology and audience insights, has announced that Sony Corporation, a leader in consumer electronics, has renewed its multi-year intellectual property (IP) licence agreement. The license to TiVo’s patent portfolios covers all of Sony’s...

Technology Software Applications
Digital TV, growing telecom major drivers of coaxial cable growth in A-Pac: Study

MUMBAI: The global coaxial cables market is mature owing to the use of coaxial cables in industries for a long time and the slow or stagnant product innovation.

Technology Hardware Components

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories