Cable TV

All India Digital Cable Federation condemns ET hike in Delhi

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MUMBAI: The Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party is currently dealing with a lot of criticism, especially from the cable and direct to home (DTH) sector. This, after it presented its budget for the national capital on 25 June. Of the many decisions, the government has decided to increase the entertainment tax on cable and DTH services from the current Rs 20 to Rs 40. While it is the consumers who have to bear the burden of the increased taxes, both the cable operators and DTH players have come out heavily on this decision.

The newly formed All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) through a statement said, “The Delhi government's recent announcement proposing to double the entertainment tax on the cable TV and DTH services in the budget is an added burden on the common man whose main source of entertainment is television. Aam Aadmi Party, which had promised to control the prices by reducing electricity and water charges is negating by the proposed hike. Due to this, the common man will have to bear the brunt of yet again, an additional tax, as cable TV operators will have no choice but to pass on this hike to the common man.”

The statement further said, “It should be noted that cable TV is the biggest medium for news, entertainment and education. It should also be noted that the common man is already burdened by an increase in service tax from June 2015. The said proposal of Delhi government is like giving a piece of bread with right hand and snatching back the same from left hand. All India Digital Cable Federation strictly condemns the proposed hike.”

In an earlier statement, even the DTH Operators Association of India, a body consisting of all private DTH players had condemned the hike. Association president and Videocon d2h CEO Anil Khera had then said, “The recent announcement of doubling of entertainment tax on cable TV and DTH services made by the Aam Admi Party government seems unfair and illogical. DTH as a platform is considered as critical to citizen’s right to information, news, education and entertainment. The sector is already saddled with high tax, where 33 per cent of revenues are taxed between the Centre and State. DTH operators that comprises Tata Sky, Dish TV, Airtel Digital TV, Videocon d2h, Sun Direct and Reliance Big TV, will have no choice but to hike their tariffs in Delhi to accommodate this hike in entertainment tax and the load will finally fall on the customer. By dropping electricity prices on the one hand and increasing entertainment tax on DTH on the other, does not seem like a move in favour of the aam aadmi! Is this how we plan to achieve a balance budget and reduce fiscal deficit?”

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