No sops or relief for Media & Entertainment sector in budget, again

MUMBAI: It was meant to be a historic budget, but the Indian media and entertainment (M&E) industry is once again feeling left out.

There was a clear focus on the growth of infrastructure and healthcare, but no sops or allocations for the M&E industry – one of the worst affected industries due to Covid-19 outbreak.

Industry experts say that the budget will usher in more cash flows and make the economy take rapid strides, however, there were no relief measures for any of the sectors within the M&E industry, including film, outdoor, events, print media and broadcasting.

“Considering that the film industry was at the receiving end during the pandemic for the longest duration of time, we hoped to see specific reform measures. However, we expect that the slew of measures introduced in Budget 2021 will lead to an enhancement of personal income leading to increased consumer spending in the cinema and entertainment space,” said Alok Tandon, CEO, INOX Leisure.

The industry has been asking for an industry status and infrastructure status for the broadcasting sector since many years, both the demands haven’t been met this year also.

Meanwhile, K Madhavan, president of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, said that this is a growth-oriented budget that will provide a “strong and much-needed impetus” to the economic growth engines in the wake of the pandemic.

“While there was no direct benefit for the broadcasting sector, the focus on privatisation and providing support for start-ups and innovation is likely to benefit the overall corporate sector and in-turn help the media and entertainment industry, as it will lead to strong advertising growth, which accounts for two-thirds of the revenues of the broadcast sector,” he said. “I believe this budget can pave a way for the resurgence of economic growth in a significant and impactful manner.”

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