MUMBAI: The Direct to Home (DTH) industry has been vehemently opposing the heavy taxation being levied on the various operators in the country. In view of the same, the country’s oldest DTH operator Dish TV has appealed to the new Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The DTH operator in its appeal has requested the Minister to alleviate the crushing burden of multilayered taxation in the DTH industry which is in turn killing the industry. The operators are subject to several taxes such as 10 per cent licence fee, 12.36 per cent service tax from the centre and the state level entertainment tax which is as high as 33 per cent in some states. While the average tax rates in most states is 30 per cent, in some it is as high as 50 per cent.
The appeal states that no other service in the country is subject to both service as well as entertainment tax at the same time. “DTH industry has revolutionised entertainment and information for the common man reaching far flung remote areas of the country where no other source of entertainment and information exists. It has brought transparency and tax revenues to the government which was impossible to ascertain and collect in the old analogue regime,” states the appeal.
Dish TV says that the entire industry has made investments of over Rs 25,000 crore but is still bleeding with no operator making money despite being in business for more than 10 years.
The request by the operator on behalf of the entire industry is to provide relief from the twin burden of entertainment tax and service tax. It requests to allow abatement of service tax to the extent of entertainment tax paid or 60 per cent of service tax whichever is lower.