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Bollywood film industry is said to be one of the greatest sources of revenue for the government, however, the industry has somehow failed to caught finance minister Arun Jaitely's attention in the list of his union budget 2018 for the last couple of years. After feeling left out from the 2017 budget, we wondered what is in Jaitely's store this time for the media and entertainment industry. Several Bollywood biggies last year expressed their disappointment for not even mentioning the industry in his budget. Needless to say, post the demonetization the entertainment industry had really gone through a tough phase. So like any other sectors, the media and entertainment industry are also eyeing for its share of positive response. With less than a few hours to go, it will be captivating to see Jaitely unfolding this year union budget in the parliament.
The industry had been hoping for the reduction in service tax for the better workflow. Some of the biggies like Sunil Lulla, Chairman, and Managing Director, Grey group India and Tarun Katial, CEO, Big FM among others have hoped that the upcoming budget will bring some change. Subjects like Infrastructure costing, simplification of GST on the services sector, ease of doing business and keeping fiscal deficit under control are some of the major highlights they have mentioned before the union budget will be announced.
From un-uniform entertainment tax to not offering subsidies to the filmmakers to shoot in different countries and states, the entertainment sector has also covered some important aspects which require some changes for sure.
While earlier talking to a leading daily, CEO, Big FM, Tarun Katial has expressed his point of view and said that he is really looking forward to lowering the license fee for operating in smaller cities as far as radio is concerned. He has also shown his concern toward allocating a significant percentage of funds to the media and entertainment sector as it has been attracting a lot of attention in the young generations for employment.
So have a look at the major expectation of media and entertainment sector from FM Jaitely this year.
1- Relaxation in the import duty on set-top boxes: The government has recently doubled the set-top boxes import duty to 20 percent, so the industry is expecting some relief by bringing back to its earlier rate.
2- To control the local bodies for imposing entertainment tax: Post the implementation of GST (Goods and Services Tax), there is a no use for other tax to be implemented on the cinema exhibitor, however various states have been still imposing additional entertainment tax, so the media and entertainment industry is hoping to get rid of the local body tax.
3- Some major steps to be expected against the piracy of films: Be it Aamir Khan's Dangal, Riteish Deshmukh's Great Grand Masti or Hrithik Roshan's Kaabil the production houses suffered a loss in generating the revenues so this year the industry people are expecting FM Jaitely to spend more on the cyber-security infractions as it will help in defeating piracy.
So get ready to witness the forthcoming union budget of 2018 and check out whether the Modi's government will fulfill the expectation of the media and entertainment industry or not. Well, you have to wait for few more hours, stay updated for more news regarding Budget 2018. Fingers crossed!