You may now need licence to own TV
You do not watch Doordarshan but may soon have to pay a one-time licence fee for the TV you own and an additional tax on any new TV you buy in the future. Why? To support Prasar Bharati Corporation and its employees.
On Wednesday, the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Prasar Bharati (PB) is likely to decide on a new tax on each television set sold in the country. The GoM has two options: a 5 per cent tax or a 10 per cent one. A 10 per cent levy will fetch Prasar Bharati Corporation Rs 890 crore every year.The excise department will charge tax at ad valorem rate (in proportion to the value of the goods concerned) from manufacturers. A government functionary said, "It will depend on the TV manufacturer whether he wants to pass on the additional burden to the consumer or not."
The GoM will also decide on a proposal to levy a licence fee on broadcast receivers — television and radio set owners.
Television channels will have to pay a ‘public service broadcast fee’ to PB. This will be 5 per cent of their gross revenue generated.
Officials said the measures would help end PB’s financial woes. The corporation requires Rs 3,000 every year for operations but its annual revenue has been about Rs 1,600 crore over the past few years. An official said the measures would make PB financially independent of the government.