Biopic on Mary Kom caught in red tape for tax exemption in MP

  • Shahroz Afridi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Oct 02, 2014 17:52 IST

Rani Mukherji’s movie Mardani was fortunate to get a tax exemption from the state government after CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan watched the movie. But the file for tax exemption to the biopic based on pugilist Mary Kom is still caught in a bureaucratic rigmarole.

Both the movies encourage woman empowerment, but while Mardani was a story based on a fictitious figure, the protagonist Mary Kom won another gold in Asian Games on Wednesday.

Following her performance, eyebrows are being raised in the bureaucratic circle itself over the procedure being followed for deciding tax exemption to a movie. Mary Kom’s distributor Via Com 18 had applied for exemption just after the film was released. The film was released tax free in Maharashtra, UP, Rajasthan and Assam.

"The file for tax exemption is doing rounds in the Mantralaya. But now I think it is too late to provide any exemption," said a senior bureaucrat at the secretariat.

This despite the fact that Mary Kom has a strong connection with MP. She spent a lot of time in Bhopal participating in boxing tournaments. MP government also felicitated her after she won a bronze medal in Beijing Olympics. CM Chouhan had said that Mary Kom is an inspiration for women and is a daughter of MP.

"I feel tax exemption to Mardani was a deal against Rani’s engagements in Bhopal soon after. Otherwise, I saw no merit in the film," said a bureaucrat on the condition of anonymity.

Film producer Roomy Jaffery expressed surprise that Mary Kom did not get tax exemptions. "Exempting a movie from tax sends a direct message to the audience that there is something really good in the movie. Secondly it makes watching movie more affordable and it reaches more viewers," said the director and producer from Bhopal.

The movie shows her personal struggles, followed by how she makes a comeback after marriage and children, and still wins accolades.

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