With an aim to promote theatre, art and culture in the city, the UT administration has waived the entertainment duty on tickets at Tagore Theatre in Sector 18, Chandigarh.
Welcoming the move, city-based artistes say the administration should also waive entertainment tax on other halls and auditoriums.
With this, holding of shows and events will become easier. In Chandigarh, the entertainment tax is 30% on a ticket. For a theatre group registered in the city, the rent is between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000.
Theatre artiste GS Channi said: “It’s a welcome move, but why only Tagore Theatre? If the administration is serious about promoting theatre, it should exempt entertainment duty at other auditoriums also such as Bal Bhawan, Kala Bhawan, and the PGIMER auditorium.”
Tagore Theatre director Kuldeep Sharma said: “The UT administration officials have taken this decision to promote local theatre groups.”
As of now, theatre artistes had to pay entertainment tax in advance for all seats even if half of them were occupied. The amount was later refunded for the non-occupied seats. Now, the groups holding plays and selling tickets will not have to pay any the entertainment tax on the ticket of up to Rs 200.
For the commercial shows and the groups not registered with the UT administration `40,000 is charged at Tagore Theatre.
The UT Home Secretary Anurag Agarwal said: “ We are planning to make theatre completely tax free in Chandigarh. We are sending a proposal to the UT excise and taxation department to exempt entertainment tax on theatre.”
Director, Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Academy, Kamal Arora said: “The decision will help boost the theatre in the city.
Entertainment includes any exhibition, performance, amusement, game or race to which persons are ordinarily admitted on payment. The shows in which entry was through tickets was not proving to be economically viable for the drama groups.