Just a few days are left for India to implement the much talked about Goods and Service tax (GST) and the nation is going berserk over it. GST is the biggest transformation of the taxation system, which aims to make taxation of goods and services a lot more simpler as the consumers will not be subjected to double taxation.
And while everything will be overpowered by GST, even the entertainment industry couldn’t escape it. According to the media reports, now movie goers will have to bear an extra 28 per cent on movie tickets besides the ticket price.
The GST council has imposed a fixed rate of 28 per cent tax on the ticket price which costs over Rs 100 as this new taxation system will be replacing the entertainment tax.
Currently, states impose entertainment tax of up to 100 per cent in respect of exhibition of cinematography films in theatres/cinema halls.
Under GST, the entertainment tax has been subsumed, and hence only the taxes levied by a panchayat or municipality on entertainments and amusements will continue.
"Thus, entertainment services shall suffer a lower tax incidence under GST. In addition to the benefit of lower headline rates of GST, the service providers shall be eligible for full input tax credits (ITC) of GST paid in respect of inputs and input services," the ministry said.
Indeed, this reformation in the taxation system has got the tinsel vile talking as well and the entertainment industry has been divided into two segments.
Here’s what the celebs have to say about GST:
Salman Khan gave a neutral reaction to GST and told ANI, “Whatever the government has done, they must have done it with proper planning.”
Siddharth Roy Kapur said, "The GST rate of 28 per cent announced on cinema tickets is a huge setback for the film industry. The industry had proposed a rate of 5 per cent in our representations to the government, in order to revive a business which has been struggling from lack of fresh investments in new cinema screens and a significant increase in online piracy."
Arjun Kapoor, during an interview with Bollywood Hungama, said “Our country’s government is giving us no respect in that sense by saying you’re part of that element. But then we’re expected to bring the country together, we’re expected to have a voice and opinion that brings change; we’re expected to be the torch bearers of the face of country across the world. We have to be socially apt; we have to be morally correct.”
Kamal Haasan slammed the 28% GST rate proposed on entertainment industry and even threatened to quit the industry. He said, “Regional cinema is the strength of Indian cinema. This diversity is the reason why this country is strong. That diversity has to be maintained. You cannot pressurise that. Regional cinema has been the pride of India. This kind of high rates of tax will kill the regional films.”
Boney Kapoor told Indian Express, “Definitely producers’ bodies will be affected whether its from Mumbai or Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengal. All producers’ association are talking to the finance ministers of their respective states. And I hope that it would be a constructive move and we should look at the positive aspect of this and hopefully this act would prove the boon rather than a debating point for us.”
Mukesh Bhatt, during an interview to NDTV, said that the government is equating entertainment industry to that of tobacco and betting industry. “They have to understand we are a creative industry, we are different from gambling and tobacco industries. Why are we treated like the Paan and Gutka industry? Are we injurious to health? Unfortunately, with such a lack of support from the Government, the Indian film industry which should be one of the primary forms of cultural outreach from India to the rest of the world, finds itself in real danger of coming undone.”