When we take our television feed to the whole world, especially to Europe, the condition we face is that it has to be clean. That means there will be no commercials that advertise products. This is true for every country. Civilised television channels do this on their own.
CNN does not broadcast US commercials when it is broadcast in Bangladesh. It broadcasts its show's promo during breaks. That is how it should be for every foreign channel.
The law has been in place for the last 15 years but we have been unable to implement it in our country until now. This time again, the information minister warned that the ministry would implement the law.
The minister sat with all the stakeholders and set a deadline of September 30. But no one said anything then.
Our assumption is that every month taka one hundred crore worth of advertisement goes out of the country. The Bangladeshi market's commercials go to other countries. Not just domestic companies, many multinational companies like Unilever and Marico are giving commercials to foreign countries.
Like us, the government is also being deprived of revenue. The government could get 15 percent VAT and 10 percent corporate tax on the advertisements. The government is not getting that money. As a result, we are losing Tk900 crore and the government is losing Tk300 crore.
If we get Tk900 crore we can give the government corporate tax. The government could get Tk300 crore more from the industry.
The government had to become strict at one stage, in the situation. Nepal's example with regards to this is encouraging. Nepal has taken the same initiative and the foreign broadcasters have followed the law.
You can clean the feed in three ways.
First, the broadcaster will create a clean feed for Bangladesh. Second, the Bangladeshi distributor could also download it and a turnaround platform will delete the foreign commercials and insert promo and uplink. The distributor will have to spend some money for this. The channel distributor will have to install the platform.
If we can put pressure on them, they will go and install it. Otherwise, they will not do it. And the third way is for the government to give the responsibility to a third party to do it. They will get the license for setting up a cleaning platform. Their task will include deleting commercials and promos.
I think if the pressure continues, the distributors will come to the table and ask for a reasonable time to implement it.
Mozammel Babu is the senior vice president of Association of Television Channel Owners, Bangladesh