Tata Sky demands five-year tax holiday for satellite TV industry

November 4th, 2008 - 8:22 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) Leading direct-to-home (DTH) services provider Tata Sky Tuesday urged the government to give a five-year tax holiday to the industry, which is fast connecting the masses with digital television.”Right now the consumer has to pay service tax to the central government and entertainment tax to state governments, which is leading to double taxation and a burdensome tax structure for consumers,” Tata Sky managing director and chief executive Vikram Kaushik told reporters here.

Asked about the services offered by DTH and cable providers, he said DTH was bound to be favoured by consumers as the platform offered better services.

“DTH offers everything right from price, quality, reach and service,” Kaushik said.

He said DTH has grown in the last six years to serve six million homes in the country.

“Tata Sky itself in two years of its existence has had an impressive growth. Right now we are a whisker away from three million subscribers, DTH is likely to grow to 37.6 million homes in the next seven years,” he said.

Kaushik, however, said the DTH segment did not have a level playing field with Cable and Conditional Access Service (CAS) medium in the country.

CAS providers get pay channels at cheaper rates because of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) guidelines while DTH providers do not get an option for that, he said.

“According to the TRAI directive, pay channels are provided to CAS providers for Rs.15 per channel while DTH providers pay Rs.20 for the same channel, its not a level playing field,” Kaushik stated.

He added that the MPEG4 technology offered by competitors was no different in terms of picture and sound quality than the MPEG2 format adopted by Tata Sky.

“The only difference is that MPEG4 enables more capacity of transmitting signals on similar infrastructure, picture and sound quality remain the same, hence the customer gets the same final product,” he said.

He said Tata Sky+, the company’s new offering, which comes equipped with a digital video recorder (DVR) and enables television recordings among other features will employ the MPEG4 standards.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Entertainment |