In a major positive development for the Indian TV distribution space, the I&B Ministry has given its approval for the TRAI recommendations and proposed a revised schedule for digitisation of cable distribution in the country
The information and broadcasting ministry has accepted the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) recommendations on complete digitisation of television broadcasting, but it has proposed pushing back the deadline for implementation from 2013 to 2015. Representatives of cable companies are meeting TRAI officials today on the issue.
The ministry's proposal has been hailed by cable companies like Den and Hathway Cable, whose stock prices have surged after the announcement on Saturday. Cable operators are beaming too, as the deadline extension will enable them to educate their subscribers about set-top boxes (STB).
According to the ministry's proposal, digitisation will take place in four phases: the four metros Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata will be covered in Phase I by March 2012, Phase II will cover cities with more than one million population by March 2013, urban areas will be covered in Phase III by March 2014 and the rest of the country in Phase IV by March 2015.
Experts are optimistic about the move. Nikhil Vora, analyst at IDFC Securities, says, "The push may translate into overall growth for the industry. Not to mention, it will provide the viewer with more choices." To encourage the move, duties on the necessary equipment will be decreased and companies will be allowed to lay out optical fibres. TRAI has recommended that companies who complete digitisation by the deadline will be eligible for tax benefits and may even be granted tax holidays.
Roop Sharma, president of the Cable Operators' Federation of India, welcomed the move, saying that with digitisation allegations against cable operators of not revealing their actual customer base would be proved false. Moreover, with no extra charges being levied and prices of STBs decreasing, digitisation will enable operators to add more channels and make the sector more organised, thus opening the way for institutional funding.
Digitisation will bring in better picture quality and offer a plethora of interactive services like video gaming, tutorials and teleshopping. The a la carte option, which has become available only recently with direct-to-home service providers, will now be available to all cable subscribers. The viewer will be able to choose the channels he wants to watch, and pay only for these channels.
How will this move affect existing service providers? "It is true that they will face stiff competition, especially the smaller ones. But then, it was always the cable operators who got the lion's share in broadcasting," said an analyst. "These DTH service providers will provide other exclusive benefits and channels for their respective subscribers, which will ensure their revenues from their premium features."
Corporate income tax at Rs2,16,872 crore was up by 24.78%, while personal income tax grew by 11.87% to Rs1,00,191 crore during this ten-month period, according to data released by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)
New Delhi: Helped by robust economic growth, the government collected Rs3,17,501 crore from direct taxes during April-January 2010-11, up 20.37% from the year-ago period, reports PTI.
Corporate income tax at Rs2,16,872 crore was up by 24.78%, while personal income tax grew by 11.87% to Rs1,00,191 crore during this ten-month period.
According to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), direct tax collections were "buoyant".
Tax refunds also increased by 38.65% at Rs53,688 crore.
The Indian economy is projected to grow by 8.6% in this financial year. Agriculture and allied activities are expected to grow at 5.4% in 2010-11 compared to just 0.4% in the previous financial year.
While services such as trade, hotel, transport and communications are expected to improve to 11% from 9.7%, manufacturing would grow at 8.8 per cent year on year.
SEBI board, which met for the last time under the chairmanship of CB Bhave today, also decided to make ASBA mandatory for non-retail investors like QIBs and NIIs from 1st May 2011
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has said that it would send a recommendation to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to amend Clause 166 of the Companies Bill 2009, to disallow interested shareholders from voting on the special resolution of the prescribed related party transaction.
This will protect small and diversified shareholders in listed companies from abusive related party transactions. This view was taken based on the learning from the investigation in the matter of Satyam Computer Services Ltd, SEBI said in a statement today.
The SEBI board, which met last time under the chairmanship of CB Bhave also decided to make the application supported by blocked amounts (ASBA) facility mandatory for non-retail investors like qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) and non-institutional investors (NIIs) for public or rights issues from 1st May.
Making the initial registration of intermediaries for a period of five years, the market regulator said it would grant permanent registration on assessment of the performance and track record of the intermediary.
SEBI also decided that the currency derivative segment would have self-clearing members, who would be required to have net worth of Rs5 crore.
Mr Bhave would step down as SEBI chairman on 17th Febuary. Last week, the government appointed UTI AMC's chief UK Sinha as the next chairman of the SEBI, who would took charge from 18th February.