Union Budget 2016: How did Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley treat the Media & Entertainment Sector?

Ahead of announcing the Budget 2016, the Finance Ministry gave umpteen interviews to Media, we crack it down for you, does the Union Budget 2016 have that much in store for the Media itself

How did the 2016 Union Budget treat Media & Entertainment Sector. Read on

Custom Duty Scrapped

  • Happy days for print industry as custom duty on newsprint as well as uncoated paper used for newspaper printing will be exempted. The same has been scrapped on lightweight coated paper used in magazines.

Reduction in basic custom duty

  • The proposal to reduce basic custom duty on wood chips and particles for manufacture of paper and newsprint, from five per cent to nil, will bring down newsprint costs for the print industry. Happy days for readers?

Reduction of import duty on set top boxes.

  • A reduction of 10% customs duty on Set Top boxes will help lower the set top box prices which will help lower subscriber acquisition cost. A definite positive for cable and DTH companies. Do we see more people moving to DTH now without TV actresses, in their own dramatic ways asking us?

Excise Duty reduced from 12.5% to 4%

  • To help ease the cost on routers, broadband modems, the excise duty has changed from 12.5% to 4%.

Service Tax on Online & Mobile Advertising

  • While no increase in the service tax is a positive, particularly for the advertising and media sector, the newly introduced service tax on Online & Mobile Advertising will affect the platforms, that are actually driving innovation today.

Amendment in the Finance Act, 1994

  • Planning to bid for a radio frequency? Think again! for the proposal to amendment in the Finance Act, 1994 will allow the government to levy service tax on forthcoming radio-frequency auctions.

Double taxation on dividends

  • The brunt of taxes, apart from the Corporations will also have to be shared by shareholders with government announcing double taxation on dividends. Not a good sign for shareholders?

No exemption in service tax for print publications

  • While we saw a reduction in basic custom duty on paper and newsprint manufacturing particles, this time too, no exemption in service tax on print publications has been agreed upon

Overall, while the preferences have been given to more digitization and providing services and equipment at cheaper rates, the budget for Media and Entertainment sector does a fair job.

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