Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This can happen only in India - annual licence fee on TV?

Govt mulls Rs 500/year fee on every colour TV-India-The Times of India

I still remember the dark blue book that was the radio license book. My father used to go the post office once a while to pay the license fee for the radio. The TV one was on then too. Thankfully, that had gone off.

Now this! I am livid with rage. Doesn't the government get sales taxes from the sale of each TV? And don't TV channels pay the government? Why does it have to snatch the pocketbooks of its citizens? This is by far the cheapest measure I've seen from the government.

Recurring annual licence fee. I am so disgusted with the stupid government for even thinking of this that I can't type any more.

Mr. Gurcharan Das, India is not yet unbound. At least not when such nincompoops are at the helm of affairs.

PS: 7/12/2007 - I heard on the news that the government has stopped considering this idea after stiff opposition. Thank God for putting some sense into these people!


hpn said...


Aram said...

The father of Manipal (money pal), the late Dr. TMA Pai is reported to have observed once that if he were given the powers he would abolish all taxes without affecting the government's revenue.

Dr. Pai, according to popular opinion, was the one who introduced/popularized the capitation fee system.

Many of the Middle East countries do not have taxes of any kind.

They make enough money from their oil.

India has an abundance of natural resources plus now human resources.

Yet, the appetite of our jumbo sized ministries, MPs, MLAs, and even bigger bureaucracy find the existing collection of taxes grossly inadequate.

It is time we the citizens wake up and get active in public affairs. The RTI Act has to be used to the maximum and public fora and media have to be extensively used.

nIlagrIva said...

You're right. This new fee was apparently to pay the salaries of 38,000 odd Prasar Bharati staffers.

With a PM who doesn't get a wink of sleep, not for his several countrymen who go to sleep (not bed) hungry most of the time, but for some media nonsense, I wonder what kind of future our nation has.

I feel that for any thing to be adopted by anybody, there must be an appropriate incentive. Taxes should be seen as fees for the facilities we use. But in view of almost non-existent facilities in several areas, why would citizens even pay taxes? Most of the tax-payers pay because the salaried class can't escape the tax net easily. The incentive for them is no tax audits and no harassment from IT if they pay their taxes in time and properly.

I will write about this and others when I review Prof. Raghunathan's book.