Simplification of the taxation framework, adoption of a light-touch regulatory approach is relevant to the growth of the industry
We were living in a different world and the spread of Covid-19 has forced the world to engage in a conversation about trade, interdependence and economic recovery, Sanjay Gupta, country manager and vice president – Google India and chairman – FICCI, media and entertainment committee, said. Gupta was speaking at the 21st edition of FICCI Frames. According to him, when it comes to films, India gets less than 7% of its revenues from the international markets. Hollywood, in contrast, gets more than 70% from international markets. “Cultural exports such as these need to be valued for the influence, and the impact they can create for the other sectors of the economy as well as the strategic roles they can play in positioning India on a global stage,” he noted.
Gupta also delved on the adverse impact of the pandemic on advertising revenue, stating that it had declined from 50% to 19% over the last few months. “If I look at the full year 2020, we will see the sector shrink to $15 billion. Around 20% of our workforce may lose their jobs, potentially impacting nearly a million people,” he added.
Nonetheless, with forward-looking policy initiatives, such as simplification of the taxation framework, adoption of a light-touch regulatory approach, infrastructure status to the industry and support to accelerate the export of films and games, the industry can get more clarity and be well on its plans to become a $ 100 billion industry by 2030.“In the short term, we do need to expedite some of the policy decisions which can help in the sector’s recovery. We need to possibly resolve some of the critical issues like tax burden on DTH and radio, it could also be allowing theatres to be used for multiple activities like showing sports games or educational activities to maximise capital utilisation and looking at local taxation to see if we can eliminate it,” he elaborated.
As per Gupta, the Indian media industry is the biggest in the world by output, with over 5 lakh hours of television content made every year, 80,000 newspapers published daily, and more than 1,600 feature films produced each year – 98% of all these outputs are conceptualised, shaped and produced in India. The Media and Entertainment industry had a revenue of $20 billion in 2019 and the digital media accounted for 20% of the industry revenue.