Budget 2023: Expectations for the Media sector - Abhay Ojha

As Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gets ready to present the Union Budget for 2023-24, the industry is hoping for measures to be announced that will fuel overall economic growth. Budget 2023-24 is an important one as it comes a year ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2024, and also as it comes amid a global slowdown and several geo-political tussles.

While 2022 was a year of recovery after two years of Covid disruptions, the industry is looking forward to consolidating the gains from 2022 this year and witnessing growth across sectors.

For the media sector, specifically the News media sector, there are some headwinds. Tax concessions are the need of the hour; there is also the need to bring down the high newsprint costs, which continue to adversely affect Print news.

Abhay Ojha, CBO, Zee Media Corporation, lists the Budget expectations for the Media Sector:

  • Media sector, the fourth pillar of democracy, should be given concession in taxes, along with increase in FDI. Presently, digital News has 26 per cent, TV Contains 49 per cent in FDI, whereas the Defense sector has around 100 per cent.
  • Private FM Radio should be given News Broadcasting license for overall growth of Media.
  • Increase in Internet usage has given life to web journalism. For its development, Web world needs public advertisements just like TV and Print media.
  • Public advertisements need to be regulated for healthy journalism. There is a need for regulation in Advertisement distribution as far as TRPs and other mediums are concerned.
  • There is a need for financial aid or insurance for field correspondents covering life threatening events and Emergencies.
  • There is a need of exemptions in news reel in Print media for its survival.



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