IBF petitions I&B minister for relief and rehabilitation package

Updated: Apr 27, 2020, 11:17 IST | A correspondent | New Delhi

The industry sought regulatory moratorium for 18 months, phased resumption of production activities, extension of moratorium period for GST payment and for the government to mandate digital payments of subscription and advertising dues to broadcaster

Prakash Javadekar
Prakash Javadekar

The Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF) on Monday petitioned information & broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar for a relief and rehabilitation package for the broadcasting sector.

The industry sought regulatory moratorium for 18 months, phased resumption of production activities, extension of moratorium period for GST payment and for the government to mandate digital payments of subscription and advertising dues to broadcasters. It also said the Centre should issue an advisory to DPOs to release payments of subscription fees up to February-end.

Seeking a stimulus package from the government so that broadcasters can get back on track, IBF president N P Singh, said, "IBF has submitted a standard operating procedure (SOP) on prevention/ safety measures for organised, safe and sustainable restart of content production, media operations, transmission and general office operations in the TV broadcast sector to PMO, Niti Aayog and I&B ministry. The SOP will help the sector to move quickly towards normalcy and we certainly hope that the government would consider it favourably."

Apart from emphasising that the government should urgently settle all outstanding dues to the broadcasting industry, IBF also demanded waiver of processing fee and temporary live uplinking fee for live sporting events for a period of one year from the resumption of normal business activities, increase in time period of 1-2 years for operationalising new channels that are granted permission, and the suspension of requirement of performance bank guarantees for channels that are to be launched, for one year.

IBF also asked the government to defer payments due to Prasar Bharati for free dish carriage until July 2020 and said all pending refunds exceeding Rs 5 lakh should be urgently processed. It added that the government should extend the existing stay on demand for income tax for the next six months, and not seek any new hearings.

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