On top of this the government introduced GST, subsuming all taxes under one in the hope of making taxation process very simple. Although the move is good one and demanded by the broadcasting industry too, the way it is being implemented without much preparation, all industries big and small are reeling under its adverse impact, trying to adjust with the new system which is based on online digital transactions. All this was done to make our economy ‘Cash Less’ but due to lack of digital infrastructure, poor broadband speeds and lack of education, the common man is disturbed to no extent. The world press which was praising Modi for these out of the way reforms is criticizing it as a blunder. All sectors in our industry including broadcasters, MSOs, LCOs and manufacturers are facing the downfall due to these moves.
Small companies cannot afford to have CAs and company secretaries to follow the complicated procedures, carry out transactions and fill up multiple returns every month. There is no cash in the market, every company is trying to follow the ever changing rules to avoid penalties and poor capacity of our broadband networks is causing further hurdles in digital processing.
Cable and satellite industry expressed its woes in a meeting of all stakeholders on 25th October in New Delhi. The meeting held on the initiative of IBF between broadcasters, DTH operators, MSOs and LCOs discussed various issues in the industry and how to resolve them to survive these hard times. Some of the issues that came up included MRP of pay channels, differential channel pricing, low ARPUs, levy of taxes by local bodies, availability of pay channels on OTT without any cost and pay channels turning FTA on DD Free Dish.
Manufacturers in the industry have also been badly impacted by demonetisation and GST as productions have come down because of low demand, revenue generation has become difficult and no FDI is coming into the manufacturing sector.
Prasar Bharati is in the process of revamping the public broadcaster which is also facing a severe low down. E-auction of DD Free Dish slot has been stopped for a while, much resented by the private broadcasters. Matter has also gone to TDSAT.
Broadcast India 2017 was held last month in Mumbai in which many international and national companies show cased their latest equipment and technical solutions for content production as well as content distribution.
We are still hoping for the Achhe Din.