Heeding to the longstanding demand of private Direct to Home (DTH) service providers, the Maharshtra Government has allowed DTH operators to pay the entertainment tax at a centralised location at the Mumbai Collectorate.
This move comes on the back of increasing measures being taken by the state government to encourage DTH penetration in the state. The state government has taken various steps including lowering the entertainment tax for DTH service providers who presently pay a tax of Rs 30 per connection a month in cities like Mumbai and Pune. Initially this figure was as high as Rs 90.
Previously DTH operators under the Mumbai Entertainment Tax Act (1923) had to get themselves registered at every collectorate under whose jurisdiction they were operating and had to pay the entertainment tax at the district level. Maharashtra is one of the few states, which levies entertainment tax on DTH operators.
Operators for long had been demanding centralization of the registration as well as tax payment.
With this circular dated October 27, the government has given some relief to these operators allowing them to pay the entertainment tax at the Mumbai Collectorate rather than paying them at the district level.
"The move aims at facilitating the DTH industry and cutting down on the paper work that the sector faces while filing the entertainment tax at various locations in the state," a state revenue official, who was not authorized to talk to the media, said.
Meanwhile DTH operators have also welcomed the government's decision stating that it would streamline the tax payment procedure. "This decision is a reformist measure and will help the sector as it will help in streamlining the tax payment procedure for DTH companies," Tata Sky CEO Vikrant Kaushik said.