Budget 2022: Simplify taxes, boost consumer sentiment to usher growth in radio, media industry
Union Budget 2022-23: Building the right infrastructure to help propagate radio within the dense rural landscape can help bring a larger share of listeners into the mainstream media
Multiple industries across the country are looking forward to a slew of economic recovery measures to be announced in the upcoming Union Budget 2022. The radio and media industry is among the many who are expecting the Budget to lay a much-needed fiscal reduction blueprint for the country. Business leaders are keen to see how the Budget will provide a key to getting the world’s fastest-growing economy on an even stronger progression momentum.
With a projected growth rate of 8.5 percent for 2022, the International Monetary Fund expects India to continue its growth story. While the festive season saw the light of the day for many businesses, there is a long road to recovery and the upcoming Budget must address these gaps.
Rationalise tax slabs
While the industry was expected to grow in double digits, this was drastically altered by the pandemic. The high rate of success in conducting vaccination drives across the country has brought positive sentiments to the market. However, there is a need for better rationalisation of the tax slabs to fuel the economy. Given how businesses need to be revived, there is a need to drop the GST tax slab to 5 percent as it can be a pivotal point that will aid the growth of the media industry. In all probability, increased consumer demand will provide an impetus for marketers to increase their media expenditure in 2022.
Streamline policy framework for ease of doing business
Although most industries are at the outset making a slow economic recovery, there are some clear policy expectations from the forthcoming Union Budget. First among these is the need to streamline the policy framework to create an ecosystem that will facilitate ease of doing business. By laying the framework for attracting investments and creating policies that streamline these processes, industry veterans are looking for signs that will help in supporting all sectors, including the radio and broadcast sector in particular.
Adoption of digital technologies
Continuous adoption of emerging technologies is another key area for new and established businesses to grow. The rising adoption of digital technology in certain sectors has been very rewarding and the Budget is expected to provide more avenues as digital is the prime growth medium for all sectors. With 5G network integration on the horizon, the sector is striving to expand its rich digital content delivery across urban and rural markets. This enabling is critical to the sector's long-term viability and growth, as well as to marketers' capacity to delve further into the country's rich social fabric.
Impetus on development of rural India
The Budget must offer alternatives for boosting cash flow and create measures to increase the adoption of digital technologies across the hinterlands of India. The focus of the radio industry is being able to reach every corner of the country. Building the right infrastructure to help propagate radio within the dense rural landscape can help bring a larger share of listeners into the mainstream media.
The Budget must make available necessary provisions such as easy access to network and connectivity to all. It is also essential that the government focuses on developing viable solutions for the radio and media industry to penetrate into the smaller markets. Apart from a simplification of taxes and smoother transactions within the sector, measures that will enable the creation of a unifying story can be a welcome step.
Boost consumer sentiment
The biggest draw of the upcoming Union Budget its focus on boosting consumer sentiment that will aid businesses in increasing investments in advertising. The overall medium of advertising needs a sustainable long-term push to help gather momentum in both urban and rural markets. There is thus a dire need for brands to augment their advertising spending for the growth of the radio and media industry. A well-chalked-out Budget can help businesses realign their strategies in the new fiscal year and contribute to the overall development of the economy.
The writer is CEO, Radio City. Views are personal.
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