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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2555

Levy on TV programmes revised with immediate effect

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Financial Correspondent

Colombo, 25 July, (Asiantribune.com): The levy on imported television programmes will be revised from today as a result of the meeting Television Industry Joint Action Committee (TIJAC) held with the President Mahinda Rajapakse during the weekend.

According to industry sources, the levy on English programmes will be reduced by Rs. 65,000/-, (from Rs. 75,000/- to Rs. 10,000/-) for 30 minutes imported programmes. However, Sinhla dubbed imported programmes will continue to be levied Rs. 90,000/- for 30 minutes as proposed in the Gazette notification; number 1451/16 of June 29, 2006.

MTV Head of Channel 1 Chevaan Daniel told the “Asian Tribune” that during the meeting, President was accommodative on the industry problems. “We basically spoke on our problems, as a result English television channels were largely exempted from the proposed tax,” Daniel said.

ART TV Managing Director Chandima Udabage explaining the position of smaller television channels said that the revision would be better compared to what was proposed earlier. “President looked at the problem from all angles and wanted us to go ahead with our normal programme schedule. Our average spot rate is Rs. 5,000/- which is very much less compared to other television channels which make it not viable to operate if the earlier levy was there,” he said.

Sirasa TV Creative Director Nilendra Deshapriya who was very optimistic about the first meeting with the President said once the committee is assigned on President’s directive, better solution would be expected. “President instructed the authorities to formulate a commission comprised with members from the Government, advertising industry, artists from film and tele-drama industry, and broadcasting industry which will further discuss this matter,” he said.

“Whatever levy imposed on us, we will continue to broadcast in keeping with the television viewers expectations. On a free to air scenario television viewers have the right to decide what programmes they watch. We strongly believe that Sri Lankan viewers are programme loyalists not channel loyalists,” Deshapriya added.

However, according to ETV spokesperson Television Industry Joint Action Committee is patiently awaiting the new Gazette notification which is to be published soon with the revisions.

- Asian Tribune -

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