News Broadcasters Association has demanded exemptions in service tax, fringe benefit tax and hike in government advertisement rates as part of its pre-budget proposals. The proposals have been submitted before the finance ministry.
Chief among them is the plea that advertisements in news and current affairs channels should not attract service tax. Arguing that the reach of electronic media — with 600 million TV viewers — was every high, NBA pointed out that service tax was hurting the industry.
The Association also said that government should extend its “stimulus package” for the print media to electronic media as well. The government had announced a 10% hike in advertisement rates as special relief to documentary proof of loss of revenue in non-government advertisements with a waiver of 15% agency commission on DAVP advertisements with effect from February 28 to June 30, 2009. This relief was only for the print media.
The broadcasting industry has also asked for reduction in fringe benefit tax from 20% to 5%-7% as in the case of pharma and software industries.