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Post DAS, entertainment tax collection surges

MUMBAI: The collection of entertainment tax in digital addressable system (DAS) Phase I and II cities increased 2–3 times after implementation of digitisation, as per the data collected by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) from the entertainment tax departments of various states.

Among the cities for which data has been provided, Pune-Pimpri Chinchwad, Kolkata and Thane-Navi Mumbai-Kalyan Dombivali saw a huge jump in entertainment tax collections from cable TV.

The combined entertainment tax collection from Thane-Navi Mumbai-Kalyan Dombivali jumped to Rs 21.31 crore (Rs 213.1 million) in FY15 from a meagre Rs 1.11 crore (Rs 11.1 million) a year ago.

Similarly, the collection from Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad jumped to 22.17 crore (Rs 221.7 million) in FY15 from Rs 4.40 crore (Rs 44 million).

In Kolkata, entertainment tax more than doubled to Rs 28.48 crore (Rs 284.8 million) in FY15 from Rs 11.99 crore (Rs 119.9 million) a year ago.

Entertainment Tax Collections (` in Lakh) As per data received from the Entertainment Tax Departments
The MIB has said that it is too early to carry out any formal impact assessment of cable TV digitisation. In the same breath, it has noted that the data collected from different stakeholders indicates that they have gained significantly from digitisation.

Some of the major benefits of DAS for consumers have been more choice of channels, improved quality picture and sound, programme guide, grievance redressal mechanism, the MIB said.

For broadcasters, it means reduction in the carriage fee payout. According to the ministry, carriage fee has come down by 30%, as per data received from six news broadcasters and four national multi-system operators (MSOs). This, the ministry said, has happened due to increase in capacity.

Further, data received from national MSOs indicates that subscription charges paid to broadcasters by MSOs have gone up about 40% following DAS due to transparency in subscriber base in the digital system.