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Budget 2023-24 Expectation: Radio, media sector hopes for rationalisation of GST structure

Opinion

Budget 2023-24 Expectation: Radio, media sector hopes for rationalisation of GST structure

Government should focus on developing viable solutions and policies for radio and media industry to penetrate deeper into smaller markets

Ashit Kukian Last Updated:January 26, 2023 10:52:16 IST Budget 2023-24 Expectation: Radio, media sector hopes for rationalisation of GST structure

Representational image. AP

As the Union Budget 2023 is set to be presented in the Parliament on February 1, all the industries are eagerly expecting relief measures to be announced. The radio and media industry too is hopeful for some transformative policies that will aid in boosting the industry, especially this year as businesses are recovering from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and are steadily moving towards economic development.

The year 2022 proved to be affirmative for the radio industry allowing the radio players to make strides towards the next phase of growth in 2023 and beyond.

GST system challenges with multiple rates

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The rationalization of the tax structure continues to be one of the most vital aspects that can support the growth of the radio industry. The GST system, with its multiple rates, has resulted in a significant compliance burden for the sector. To address these challenges, re-examining and simplifying the GST structure by rationalizing the tax slab and streamlining compliance procedures is crucial. This approach will not only alleviate the compliance burden for the radio industry but also improve the system’s efficiency and boost ease of implementation.

Creation of a favourable ecosystem to boost economic growth

The Indian radio industry is swiftly recovering from the lull caused by the pandemic and to support this recovery, it is crucial that the government provides radio businesses access to affordable funding preferences. Recent amendments, such as the removal of the three-year window for restructuring and the lifting of the 15 percent national cap for channel holding, have addressed long-standing demands of the industry.

The Budget should also include policies that facilitate easy financing for businesses at low interest rates to drive growth in the sector. Streamlining government policies can improve efficiency and effectiveness, thereby aiding ease of doing business for the sector.

Dynamics to boost advertising spends

The year 2022 witnessed a rise in consumer spending thereby encouraging brands and advertisers to magnify their marketing budget and utilize the power of radio plus digital to target messages to their audience. The festive season also saw a great upsurge in brands harping on this trend and we hope that this momentum will continue even in the new financial year.

As the government offers a slew of economic recovery measures, brands will be in a position to focus on their marketing and advertising spends which in turn can support the growth of the media industry. For all industries, a large chunk of their target consumers is based in tier II and tier III regions.

Adoption of tech, digital avenues across hinterlands

The focus of the radio industry is to deepen its reach in every corner of the country. While there have been significant technological advancements in the urban markets, the upcoming Union Budget can further support the growth of digital opportunities across the rural lands of India.

The Budget should include policies that integrate digitization, as technology has become increasingly prevalent and accessible, leading to improved efficiency and productivity. Technology can be leveraged to enhance communication, streamline processes, as well as boost revenue streams in the radio and media industry at large. Therefore, the creation of appropriate technology infrastructure across the hinterlands can pave the way for bolstering the growth of Radio City’s Radigitalization strategy in tier II and tier III parts of the country.

Interestingly, as per a recent survey, FM radio listenership in Tier-II and -III markets has been on the rise and these are the most crucial markets for the radio industry to tap into. Therefore, the government must fulfil essential requirements such as easy access to networks and connectivity for all.

The government should also focus on developing viable solutions and policies for the radio and media industry to penetrate deeper into the smaller markets.

Policies sought to streamline bureaucratic procedures

We are optimistic that the Union Budget will introduce policies to streamline bureaucratic procedures, simplify the process of establishing and operating businesses, and make it easier for businesses to access loans, subsidies, and other forms of financial assistance. Such policies can also reduce compliance costs and provide incentives for innovation while fostering a more conducive regulatory environment.

These measures can facilitate business growth and job creation, making the economy more competitive and attractive for investment in India. Looking forward to a growth-oriented fiscal budget in 2023.

The writer is CEO, Radio City. He tweets @radiocityindia Views expressed are personal.

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