Rs. 251 million revenue from foreign TV programmes – Minister

Keheliya Rambukwella

A revenue of Rs. 251 million has been received as tax from foreign teledramas and films telecast on local media from February 2021.

Mass Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that after the resumption of tax on foreign tele dramas and films telecast through local media from February 2021 which was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a tax of Rs. 251 million has been received.

The Minister said attention will be paid to further increase the amount of tax levied so as to preserve local culture and local teledrama art and industry and to encourage local artistes to engage in it.

The Minister stated the above while addressing the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Mass Media held recently, the Parliament communication division said.

The Minister further stated that though the government spends Rs. 22 million a month on telecasting 16 – hour educational programmes for children during the COVID-19 pandemic, the turnover is only Rs. 4 million. Adding to it, the Minister stated that the state television channel was fulfilling its responsibility for the advancement of children.

Minister Rambukwella also stated that the National Television Channel was now running at a loss and that he hopes to develop the National Television Channel by preserving the national identity and introducing modern programs.

Furthermore, the Minister stated that he hopes to bring the revenue to a level where it can be settled by the end of the year.

He said that his ministry is being faced with the serious challenge to uplift the state media institutions which had been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whilst expressing that he wishes to formalising the licensing process for TV channels and the registration process for all news websites currently in operation; the Minister also said that his ministry was focusing on amending the Press Council Act to make the Media Board Act applicable to all media, adding that his ministry was fulfilling its responsibilities on towards 22 million people.

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, MPs Chandima Weerakkody, Geetha Kumarasinghe, G. Karunakaran, S.Kajendran, Shanakyan Rasamanickam, Uddika Premarathna, Diana Gamage, Ministry Secretary Jagath P. Wijeweera, Government Information Department DG Mohan Samaranayake, Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation Chairman Reginald Cooray, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe and Sri Lanka Press Council Chairman Mahinda Pathirana were present.

(Courtesy: Daily News)