New sat-tax could “cripple” Indian broadcasting

CASBAA boss Simon Twiston Davies has written to the Indian government protesting at a proposed new tax on international satellite operators working over India. The Indian proposals call for a 10 per cent “royalty” to be levied on foreign satellite communications. But perhaps worse, in the eyes of Twiston Davies, is that India is looking to back-date the royalty to cover the past 36 years of coverage over India.

CASBAA (Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia) says the tax would “cripple” broadcasting and other satellite-based communications. Twiston Davies wrote his letter last week on April 2 and addressed it to India’s finance minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee, stating that the proposals were “against the basic international rules, and fair play”.

India’s 2012 Finance Bill states that non-Indian satellite operators would be subject to a 10 per cent  withholding levy. Twiston Davies argues that India’s action would have the effect of a “double taxation” and could put India in breach of tax treaties already in place.  Even more perilous is the retrospective plan, taking transactions that date from 1976 into the proposed threshold.

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