It is no new news that the media and entertainment industry has faced a huge downfall concerning the pandemic. The industry is dealing with huge losses and other than online streaming platforms; all others are struggling to get through their daily expenses. Even now, when work has resumed, the industry hasn’t been able to cope with the downfall caused by the lockdown period. The broadcasting industry particularly has witnessed huge losses in the past few months and they are concerned about its recovery more than ever. In hope of some relief from the government, the leading broadcasters today are asking for “Infrastructure Status” for the Broadcasting industry which includes the DTH and Cable sector.
IBF Secretary General Girish Srivastava said, “In the present era of convergence, the distinction between Telecom, IT and Broadcasting sectors is getting blurred. Telecom is already treated as an ‘infrastructure service’. Broadcasters and distribution platforms will be aided with better and affordable financing options in the present capital-intensive growth phase if the Broadcasting sector is accorded infrastructure status,”.
Summarizing this statement; an infrastructure status will help the broadcasting companies to bounce back through the various special benefits granted to industries under the status. If you don’t already know, an industry under the infrastructure status is entitled to the following benefits:
- Easier term loans
- Longer maturity periods
- Enhanced limits
- Access to larger amounts of funds as external commercial borrowings (ECB)
- Access to longer tenor funds from insurance companies and pension funds and be eligible to borrow from India Infrastructure Financing Company Limited (IIFCL).
The most important benefit of infrastructure status would be the chance to carry forward their losses. As the Broadcasting industry has no scope of a speedy recovery of revenue, an infrastructure status will ensure its longevity and stability in the coming future. With 20% of people employed in the sector, already losing their jobs it will be highly favourable for the industry to get infrastructure status. This will eventually help the country as media and entertainment form a huge chunk of the country’s economy.