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July 20, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka™s treasury secretary is to give a ruling on Friday over the controversial tax slapped on television stations airing English content, following a meeting with broadcasters late Thursday. The tax, which also applies to Hindi language content, largely affects English language viewers who account for around 5-percent of total audience. Tamil content is exempted from the tax.

Starting July 16, popular Bollywood and Hollywood blockbusters, movies, dramas and serials aired on television are taxed 75,000 rupees for a 30 minute block.

Each half hour segment dubbed in native Sinhala or Tamil languages are charged 90,000 rupees

Local broadcasters MTV, Art TV and ETV had requested Jayasundara to consider exempting English language programmes from the tax, since they are aired for around six hours each day.

However, those from the government team, which included leading film artists, producers and officials from the media ministry, had pointed out that even the two state-television channels also showed some English content, sources at the meeting said.

If Jayasundara gave exemptions to private broadcasters, the government team urged he do the same for state televisi