GST taking toll on classical music concerts: Shrinivas Joshi | pune news | Hindustan Times
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GST taking toll on classical music concerts: Shrinivas Joshi

City-based Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal that organises the famed annual Sawai Gandharva Music Festival has written to the Centre to do away with 28 per cent GST on classical music programmes in the country.

pune Updated: Nov 10, 2017 15:33 IST
HT Correspondent
Shrinivas Joshi, executive president, Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal.
Shrinivas Joshi, executive president, Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal.(HT Photo)

Though government’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) has opened up various business opportunities, it seems to touch a sad chord with organisers who hold classical music festivals.

City-based Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal that organises the famed annual Sawai Gandharva Music Festival has written to the Centre to do away with 28 per cent GST on classical music programmes in the country.

Speaking to the press on Thursday, Shrinivas Joshi, executive president, Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal, said, “Charging 28 per cent GST on tickets above ₹250 will make it unaffordable for many music lovers. As a community we need to raise our voice against this and request the authorities to waive off GST on classical music programmes.”

Joshi said that classical music industry does not receive financial support like Bollywood or other cultural events. Hence, it is important to provide artistes a platform that attracts maximum people. “High-priced tickets will have an immediate effect on fans and the common man. Even as we are seeing lesser audience in classical music events nowadays, raising the price of tickets will further decrease this figure,” shared Joshi.

The Mandal has written to finance minister Arun Jaitley and the latter has assured to take cognisance of the issue. Veteran singer Dr Prabha Atre, senior Santoor maestro Shiv Kumar Sharma, flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, senior singer Begum Parveen Sultana, Pandit brothers Rajan and Sajan Mishra, Niladri Kumar and other eminent artistes have agreed to support the cause. BJP national vice-president Vinay Sahastrabuddhe has also supported the Mandal in writing the letter to Jaitley. The city’s cultural calendar will soon begin with Sawai Gandharv classical music festival that will be organised between December 13 and December 17.