The state cabinet on Wednesday reduced the proposed 20% hike in entertainment duty on movie tickets. Instead it approved the proposal to raise entertainment tax on cinema tickets above Rs250.
According to the original proposal, the hike in entertainment duty was to range from 10% to 20% on tickets that cost more than Rs250. However, the cabinet has revised it and decided to levy a surcharge on the existing entertainment duty of 45%. The revenue department claimed the hike in entertainment duty was to dissuade multiplexes from arbitrarily hiking ticket rates.
So, entertainment tax will stay at 45% for tickets under Rs250. It will be 49.5% for tickets priced at Rs251-350, 51.75% for tickets at Rs351-500 and 54% for anything beyond that.
At the same time, theatres in the state will be allowed to almost double the service charge they levy on customers – from Rs6 to Rs11 on all tickets.
Revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat said that the cabinet had kept in mind the interest of multiplex owners and patrons while revising the proposal. Thorat added that multiplex owners should not pass on the additional burden to patrons.
“Following HC’s orders, the government cannot regulate ticket rates. Hence we have tried to strike a balance to benefit both patrons and theatre operators,” he said.