Delhi Cabinet on Monday gave its nod to a new Entertainment Tax Policy for the promotion of arts, culture and heritage in the capital.
In a meeting, chaired by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, it was decided to give a 10-day period Specific Tax Exemptions to all musical and dance events during Baisakhi Festival, Sufi Festival, Indradhanush Festival—Phool Walon Ki Sair, Kala Sanjivani Festivals, Dussehra, Ram Lila and theme/venue Specific Tax Exemptions, including Jahan-e-Khusro, Ananya Festivals, and all events organised by Delhi Tourism including entertainment programmes at Dilli Haat.
Apart from this, it had been decided to exempt entertainment tax on programmes to be organised at all community centres, panchayat ghar and traditional melas and dangals to reinforce unity in diversity and to reaffirm the traditional way of life.
The government had also decided to exempt events to be organised for raising funds for the preservation of heritage buildings listed by INTACH in Delhi.
The new policy envisaged exemption from payment of entertainment tax to the national sporting events organised by national sports federations, and sports and games organised by the government to encourage sports activities in the run up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The exhibitions organised by the government and government sponsored non-profit organisations would be exempted from payment of entertainment tax, provided that admission fee charged is not more than Rs 500 per person.
Similarly, one function per school/college per year would be granted exempted for a duration not exceeding four days and where admission fee of not more than Rs 500 per person was charged.
To encourage investments in infrastructure in theatres and auditoria with the seating capacity of not less than 500, entertainment tax exemption would be granted for a period of four years from the date of commissioning of new theatre or opera house/auditoria.
Similarly, for encouraging construction of a new museum or art galley, entertainment tax exemption would be granted for a period of four years from the date of commissioning.
Apart from this entertainment tax exemption for small theatre groups whose receipts from the sale of tickets and from sponsorship does not exceed Rs 50 lakh per event would be allowed and No Objection Certificate would be granted online.
Dikshit further said the new entertainment tax policy envisaged reduction in the rate of tax on paid programmes from 25 per cent to 15 per cent on tickets and from 25 per cent to 15 per cent on sponsorships.
It had also been decided to reduce the rate of betting tax from 20 per cent to 15 per cent.