DTH players react to Budget 2015

MUMBAI: Some time before the presentation of the budget, the Direct-To-Home (DTH) Operators’ Association of India had sent its wish list to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) asking for certain demands to be fulfilled for the sector. The Budget 2015 saw a strong no-no with an increase in service tax from the current 12.36 per cent to 14 per cent and the demands not being fulfilled. Additionally, the date for the roll out of Goods and Service Tax (GST) has been announced.

Expressing his displeasure on the same, Videocon d2h CEO Anil Khera tells Indiantelevision.com, “The DTH and cable sector were ignored in the budget. The hike in the service tax will further be passed on to the consumers through the packs. Nothing from the wish list was taken into account."


It may be recalled that the wish list had asked the service tax for DTH services to be put in the negative list of service tax. It had also demanded for infrastructure status for the DTH sector.


When asked for his reaction to the budget, DTH Operators’ Association president and Dish TV CEO RC Venkateish opines that he is happy that the GST date has been announced, while it was already known that the increase in service tax would be increased in two stages. “While the announcement of the GST date i.e 1 April, 2016 will have benefits, for the short term one would pay that extra one per cent, which is not material. The GST implementation will give us a substantial reduction in overall taxes,” he says.


Echoing his thoughts on the Budget 2015, Tata Sky CEO Harit Nagpal says that he was hoping that at least one of the two taxes that the industry pays to the Centre and the State would be absorbed, which did not happen. “We are the only industry that pays service tax to the Centre and entertainment tax to the state,” says Nagpal. 


According to him, this long standing demand to negate one of the taxes was not granted and instead what one saw was the service tax being hiked. Differing with Khera's point of view, Nagpal informs that the increase will not be passed on to the subscribers through an increase in price packs as the amount is minimal which is one per cent.

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