Union Budget 2017 is likely to spring many surprises. It’s a known fact that every year various sectors of the Indian Industry have their wish list and expectations ready before the annual budget is out. MSOs are no different. All India Digital Cable Federation aka AIDCF has demanded industry status. By the virtue of this status the industry will get it’s financial incentives. Rationalisation of various other taxes which also include service and entertainment tax will also remain a priority. Also Read - 'Open to Tweaking Inside And Outside Budget For Economic Growth', Says Nirmala Sitharaman
All eyes are on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the Industry is keen to know what this budget holds for them. “Grant us infrastructure status for the (distribution) industry and remove the 8 per cent AGR applicable for MSOs offering broadband via cable,” said AIDCF Secretary-general Saharsh Damani in his interview to indiantelevision.com. It is also reported that The AIDCF, which is said to be a new and digital avatar of MSO Alliance, would also like removal of dual applicability of service and entertainment taxes on the cable TV. According to the apex body of MSOs, till the time GST (Goods and Services Tax) comes in place, entertainment tax paid to a state government may also be made creditable against the service tax liability of the cable TV sector. ALSO READ: Media Budget 2017: How GST will impact India’s Entertainment Tax Also Read - Economy Not in Trouble; Green Shoots Visible: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
“This will be a short term measure, but will give higher declaration of entertainment tax and will bring in sufficient numbers to ensure that (overall revenue) collection of the government on service tax does not drop,” added Dhamani. It is being argued that Goods and Service Tax was supposed to be in effect from April 1, 2017. Also Read - Union Budget 2020: Confused Between Tax Exemption, Deduction And Rebate? Here's What to Know
Originally GST was supposed to be in effect from April 1, 2017. Blame it on political issues and some states questioning doubts on their share of the tax under GST policies, Finance Minister has is of the opinion that the new tax structure should be effective from the middle of 2017. Reports also suggest that AIDCF has also urged the government to rationalise indirect taxes.