The Hon. Minister of Mass Media Keheliya Rambukwella state that after the resumption of tax on foreign tele dramas and films telecasted through local media from February 2021 which was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic a revenue of Rs. 251 million has been received thus far.
The Hon. Minister said that attention will be paid to further increase the amount of tax levied so as to preserve the local culture and local teledrama art and industry and to encourage local artists to engage in it.
The Hon. Minister stated the above while addressing the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Mass Media held on the 20th of July.
The Hon. Minister further stated that though the government spends Rs. 22 million a month on telecasting 16 – hour educational programs for children of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, the turnover is only Rs. 4 million. Adding to it, the Minister further stated that the state television channel was fulfilling its responsibility for the advancement of children.
The Hon. Minister of Mass Media Keheliya Rambukwella also stated that the National Television Channel has now become a loss-making institution 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 formalizing 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.
Hon. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, Hon. Members of Parliament Chandima Weerakkody, Geetha Samanmale Kumarasinghe, G. Karunakaran, S. Kajendran, Shanakiya Rasamanickam, Uddika Premarathna, Diana Gamage, Mr. Jagath P. Wijeweera, Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media, Mr. Mohan Samaranayake, Director General of the Department of Government Information, Mr. Reginald Cooray, Chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Mr. Hudson Samarasinghe, chair of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Mahinda Pathirana, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Press Council attended the meeting held.