| 12 Apr 2024
Budget 2014: No mention of Private FM but future policies anticipated

MUMBAI: The deadline given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seen in positive light by many in the radio industry. In the interim budget 2014, there was a mention of the private radio industry. But this budget saw very little mention of the Entertainment and Media sector and also there was no direct mention of the radio industry.

Reacting to the budget, Radio City president and COO Ashit Kukian said, "We would have liked the government to take steps to increase the FDI limit to 49 per cent from the current 26 per cent. With Phase III auctions awaited, the increase in FDI limit would have opened the doors for fresh investment giving that much required boost to the radio industry." The Phase III auctions process is on and will commence very soon so FDI would be a good option for many private radio networks in India.

PWC Entertainment and Media Practice India Leader Smita Jha said, "We also welcome FM's comments on promoting FDI and expect that it will translate into 100 per cent FDI being allowed in sectors of media industry such as television broadcasting, cable and DTH, the proposal for which is already pending with the Government."During the budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that composite cap of foreign exchange is being raised from the existing 26 per cent FDI to 49 per cent in defence manufacturing with full Indian management and control through the FIPB route.Reliance Broadcast Network CEO Tarun Katial said, "With not much for the media and entertainment industry in the budget, there would be anticipation of a further announcement in line with the policy initiatives, especially for the radio sector. On the Television front, the ruling on custom duties for LCD and LED televisions being completely scraped to nil, as compared to the earlier 10 per cent will result in a significant boost in the consumption of the television sets."

The technical bid for Phase III is expected to start by this month. As of now, the shortlisted e-auctioneers who have fulfilled the required criteria are 'e-procurement Technologies Limited', 'mjunction Services Limited', 'MSTC Limited' and 'C-1 India Private Limited'.

RED FM COO Nisha Narayanan commented, "There is nothing in this budget for the radio industry except for allocating Rs 100 crores towards community radio. The industry is now looking forward to the speedy implementation of Phase III policy so that the radio industry is also allowed to grow and reach its potential. We do hope that all impediments will now be removed and the bidding process starts soon."

ENIL CEO and MD Prashant Panday is hoping that the budget proposals might spur economic growth which "leads to a revival in advertising spends." Panday said, "We also hope the govt will expedite renewal of phase II licenses by accepting the TRAI formula and will conduct phase III auctions on time as promised."