Punjab PR minister wants cess on TV advertistments

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Chandigarh, Sep 19 (UNI) Punjab today took a lead in suggesting to the Union Government to levy cess on advertisement revenue earned by private television channels and devolve 70 per cent of cess to all the states to enable them to finance their welfare communication programme.

The states Information and Public Relation Minister Bikram Singh Majithia while addressing the 26th Conference of Ministers of Information and Cinematography of State Governments and Union Territory Administrations (SIMCON XXVI) held at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi today said that there was urgent need to have a re-look at denial of legitimate share in the revenue to the states.

He said that the central government should levy a cess on advertising revenue of all the private television channels except those belonging to Prasar Bharti. Seventy per cent of this revenue should be devolved to the states in the ratio of number of television sets sold in each state.

Besides protecting the interest of Prasar Bharti this would be an additional source of revenue for the State Governments, he added.

Suggesting a similar formula sharing license fee, Mr Majithia said that Union Government should also work out a revenue sharing formula of license fee collected by the Union Ministry of Information and Boradcasting visa vis DTH, FM Radio and down linking etc. A portion of this revenue should be devolved to the states and distributed amongst them in the ratio of number of TV sets and radio sets sold in each state.

Advocating to protect the interests of cable operators and their workers while introducing CAS in the states, Mr Majithia said priority of CAS licenses should be given to local cable operators.

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