Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Private TV Operators Ridicule Finance Act - Daily Mirror 12th July 2006

Private Television Operators at a meeting yesterday called the Regulations Levy Act put on private television stations “ridiculous”, “without a proper basis” and not in keeping with the economy of the country.

The Operators are to meet Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa today regarding Act No. 11 of 2006 that taxes up to Rs 90,000/= for every 30 minutes of Teledrama or Film telecast on private stations.

“We as broadcasters are disturbed by the Act and are going to strongly emphasize to the Minister that there is only a short span of time given to implement it, there is no clarity whatsoever and the resource group which is supposed to monitor the content of the Act has not been formed as yet,” said Operators Facilitator and CEO of Derana Television Anup Chandrasekaran.

Saying that the broadcasters should have been consulted on the policy before it was executed, Mr. Chandrasekaran said that there was no formal orientation and the date of application was communicated orally to them on July 15.

The Act in itself is ambiguous and shows that the policy makers had no clue of what they were doing, he said. He added that if they were to pay money to the government the Act had to be viable.

He said operators were aware that they had to keep the sensitiveness of the community in mind and have nothing against that. If government was asking operators to give emphasis to local content it was feasible he said, but that the Act was not genuine in arbitrarily coming out with pricing,” he stressed.

Nowhere in the world have these regulations been applied and is a step backward for the industry” he said.

By Jeevani Pereira

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