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Indian Government considers tax holiday for broadcasters

A ten-year tax holiday, duty exemptions, and the granting of infrastructure status are among the proposals reportedly being considered for the Indian broadcasting industry by the government, reports.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is considering demands for support from the cable industry after it introduced legislation requiring the digitisation of India’s vast cable TV network.

According to the Hindustan Times, in addition to an extended tax holiday under Section 81 (A) of the Income Tax Act to help offset the cost of introducing new broadcasting technology, cable operators may be granted infrastructure status in the same way as the telecommunications sector.

Around 68 million set top boxes are expected to be required to support the nationwide digitisation of India’s cable network.

The cable TV digitisation process will begin this year with the metros to be completed by June 2012.

Cities with a population of one million are to be digitised by 31 March 2013.

Remaining urban areas are set to follow by 30 September 2014, while the entire country’s cable network is due to be digitised by 31 December 2014.