Mar. 19 (LBO) – A prominent parliamentarian representing the minority Tamil community had branded a controversial government decision to tax television programs imported for the entertainment of minority communities as discriminatory. “It is absurd and discriminatory,” said N Raviraj member for the Jaffna district representing the Tamil National Alliance.
The government has decided to charge a tax on films imported for terrestrial broadcast at Rs75,000 as well as taxing television programs such as dramas and sitcoms.
The government said the tax was being imposed to protect the domestic teledrama industry.
Teledramas at the moment are only being produced in the Sinhalese language.
While high quality dramas are snapped up by commercial television stations, some 300 odd teledramas are believed to be waiting to be picked up by TV stations.
Hindi teledramas imported have proved to be a big hit with viewers, and the reason for the tax is believed to be heavy lobbying by Sinhalese teledrama producers who want to curb Indian programs.
At the moment no Tamil or English language films or teledramas are produced in the country and almost all films are imported from South India.
According to data from the media r