Why do we still pay tax on films? | india | Hindustan Times
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Why do we still pay tax on films?

Mumbai?s infrastructure needs are not a new thing. Roads, traffic decongestion, water and power are the primary areas requiring attention.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2006 03:42 IST

These came into greater focus after the 26/7 floods. We’ve all been asking for these facilities to be upgraded for a long time. The only solution seems to be building roads over roads, because by the time the many proposed flyovers are built, the volume of cars will have increased exponentially too.

As far as entertainment is concerned, the industry is developing with little or no support from the government.

Theatres are being built and development progressing within Film City. Leave alone income tax, no part of the 45 per cent entertainment tax levied on us is being ploughed back into the entertainment industry.

Plus, VAT on film collections is being implemented soon, which means we shall be paying double tax.

Entertainment tax was instituted in the late 1950s, when entertainment was seen as a negative business. But what is its relevance today? Why should you be taxed for being entertained?

A reduction of entertainment tax would make the industry more viable.

Also, the government should invest in better exhibition facilities. Shooting in Mumbai is a such a complicated process, with so many hindrances, that it is easier to shoot in Australia or South Africa, where the local authorities are issuing blanket permissions and providing locations at no cost.

In Mumbai, civic licenses require a tussle with bureaucratic processes and bribing of every desk along the way.

Private investment and enterprise are driving entertainment in Mumbai. The state definitely does not do enough for the entertainment industry. This is augmented by a discouraging political attitude.

Manmohan Shetty is chairman and managing director of Adlabs Films Limited.