ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has proposed the introduction of “airing tax” on TV advertisements and films produced outside Kenya in a bid to open up the local TV and film sector and raise revenue.
According to Mucheru, who spoke on Monday while he launched a film scriptwriting competition, “Ad agencies by-pass local production houses, spend all the money in India, Malaysia and other markets, hence denying locals jobs and income”.
“Industry players have brought to my attention the proliferation of series, movies, and advertisements that broadcasters, ad agencies, and
brands produce from out of the country and show locally on our
screens. Those buying or commissioning these ads and such material end up
paying tax only equivalent to the value of the hard drive that the content
is stored in,” said Mucheru.
“This denies the local filmmakers fair competition and also denies the
taxman requisite revenue. I have instructed relevant entities including
the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) to review the whole area of
ads and series shot outside Kenya and broadcast locally with a view of
introducing an ‘airing levy’,” the CS further stated.
FILM AND MEDIA CITIES
Mucheru also said that the Ministry is exploring the viability of establishing
a film and media city in the country with state of the art facilities and
equipment that would rival Hollywood.
“As we speak Konza is in talks with the Korean government to see how we can get grants to look at how we can move movies within the Konza city,” he said, adding that the main interest is “making Kenya a big tourist destination, creating jobs to all our people and preserving our cultures”.