GST on ad spends needs to be rationalised at 12%: Ashish Bhasin

MUMBAI: Dentsu Aegis Network CEO Greater South, Chairman & CEO India Ashish Bhasin has said that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on ad spends needs to be rationalised at 12%. Currently, the GST on ad spends stands at 18%.

His comments came as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to present the Union Budget 2019 on 5th July.

Bhasin said that advertising is a very sentiment-driven business in India, therefore, anything that drives GDP growth drives advertising growth even more. “In fact, the rule of thumb is that for every 10% growth in GDP, advertising grows by 1.5%. So, the new budget needs to be growth-oriented, needs to put more money in the pockets of the rural and urban consumers, to propel spending,” he stated.

He also stated that there is an urgent need for tax reforms. Direct tax rates for both corporates and individuals need to be brought down noticeably and immediately, he added. “GST on advertising at 18% is just too high. It needs to be rationalised at 12% and the process and procedures need to be simplified as they are cumbersome, unproductive and wasting a lot of time,” he noted.

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