Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) sent letter to Shri Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Information & Broadcasting requesting him for economic & rehabilitation package to tackle the crisis on the Television Broadcast sector as a fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak.
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The requests made on the following issues like Tax, Regulatory & Distribution Platform Operators.
- Moratorium period extension for GST payment
- Urgent processing of refunds exceeding Rs 5 Lacs
- Doing away with 1st installment of advance tax and letting taxpayers pay the 2nd installment directly without any interest liability
- Extension of due date for TDS deposit up to May 2020 for March & April 2020
- Lower rates of TDS from 10% to 2% on subscription revenues
- Stay on all IT demand for 6 months without any new hearing
- Discharge of GST reverse charge obligation through GST input credit rather than paying in cash
- Stamp Duty payment of agreements is deferred up to expiry of ninety days from the lifting of national lockdown
- Two year period for operationalization of new channels which have been granted permission
- Suspension of Performance Bank Guarantees for channels sought to be launched for a period of one year from the resumption of normal business activities
- Waiver of permission for FX payments for foreign satellite transponder hiring
- Waiver of processing fee and temporary live uplinking fee for live sporting events
- Regulatory moratorium of 18 months for the sector
- Phased resumption of production activities
Distribution Platform Operators
- Mandated digital payments of subscription & advertising dues to broadcasters
- Advising DPOs to release subscription fees up to 29th Feb, 2020
- Waiver of carriage fee due to Prasar Bharati for April-June for FTA channels on DD Free Dish
- Defer of payment due to Prasar Bharati for DD Free Dish carriage till July 2020
Indian Broadcasting Foundation has stated that the broadcasting business has been hit on both the demand and supply side which has led to cash flow problems and resulted in an existential crisis for many IBF members. It further noted that commute restrictions and production schedule halts had posed a challenge to broadcasters in providing uninterrupted entertainment. NP Singh further said that the IBF had submitted a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on prevention/safety measures for organized, safe, and sustainable re-start of operations in the TV broadcast sector.