Other than an allocation of Rs 100 crore for Community Radio, there was nothing for the FM industry which is gearing up for Phase III licensing
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | July 11, 2014
The Union Budget may have been people friendly, but it left out one critical mass medium – Radio. Other than an allocation of Rs 100 crore for Community Radio, there was nothing for the FM industry which is gearing up for Phase III licensing. They would have liked the government to take steps to increase the FDI limit to 49 per cent from the current 26 per cent.
Here is what some FM industry leaders had to say:
Nisha Narayanan, COO, Red FM:
The budget for the Radio industry except for allocating Rs 100 crore towards Community Radio is not very encouraging. The industry is now looking forward to the speedy implementation of Phase III policy so that the radio industry is also allowed to grow and reach its potential. We do hope that all impediments will now be removed and the bidding process starts soon.
Tarun Katial, CEO, Reliance Broadcast Network:
With not much for the media and entertainment industry in the budget, there would be anticipation of a further announcement in line with the policy initiatives, especially for the Radio sector. On the Television front, the ruling on custom duties for LCD and LED televisions being completely scraped to nil, as compared to the earlier 10%, will result in a significant boost in the consumption of television sets. The decision would have an impact on converting single TV households to double TV households, resulting in an increase in the number of TV viewers, which is good for the industry.
Ashit Kukian, President & COO, Radio City:
We would have liked the government to take steps to increase the FDI limit to 49% from the current 26%. With Phase III auctions awaited, the increase in FDI limit would have opened the doors for fresh investment giving that much required boost to the radio industry.
Smita Jha, Leader – Entertainment and Media, PwC India:
We welcome the announcements made in the Union Budget 2014 in the E&M sector, especially those relating to budgetary allocations for the National Centre for Excellence for animation, gaming and visual effects. We also welcome FM’s comments on promoting FDI and expect that it will translate into 100% FDI being allowed in sectors of media industry such as television broadcasting, cable and DTH, the proposal for which is already pending with the government. Expediting FDI increase will help provide the much needed stimuli to the 3rd and 4th phases of digitisation.
Budgetary allocations for promoting Community Radio are also welcome, though the sector policies need revisiting to ensure the viability of these stations on a long-term basis.
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