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The M&E sector is enthused about the fact that there is a majority verdict in this election. A majority verdict will hopefully mean a decisive government and movement on the regulatory front. This government will take office with the weight of a lot of expectations – including the expectations from the M&E industry.
There are several areas that the industry will expect movement from the government. Namely
1. Speedy implementation of Phase III licensing in Radio and associated regulations (networking, multiple station ownership, etc)
2. Greater friendliness to FDI in Media. The industry is hoping that the government will raise the FDI caps in several areas including Cable to at least 74% if not 100%. DTH to 100%, Radio to 49% and progressively higher than 50%
3. The industry is also hoping that the government will allow the radio industry to carry news. It does not make sense that news is restricted to AIR in radio but allowed to be privatized for all other media
4. In addition, the solving the service tax issue for the media industry where due to content being on the exception list, a pass through option is not available. This will provide great relief to the industry
In addition, there are other issues that are not specific to media but will certainly help the industry. Rationalisation of customs duty, implementation of GST (assuming entertainment tax is part of GST) and and increased focus on infrastructure development