STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

GST a penalty on arts, Jagriti floats petition

Protesting against the government’s move to levy 18 per cent GST or Goods and Services Tax  on  theatre, and other Indian performance arts, Jagriti Theatre has floated a petition online against it.

Published: 21st June 2017 11:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd June 2017 09:56 AM   |  A+A-

A classical music performance at Jagriti theatre

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Protesting against the government’s move to levy 18 per cent GST or Goods and Services Tax  on  theatre, and other Indian performance arts, Jagriti Theatre has floated a petition online against it.
The petition requests Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and GST council for exemption of GST on performing arts.

Jagdish Raja, director of development at Jagriti says, “We are going to be charged 18 per cent by the government for our attempt to  keep dance and cultural programmes alive.”
The current status of performance arts is already battered, he opines, and adds that instead of being offered relief for Jagriti’s endeavours, the government is penalising the arts.
On tickets less than `250, there will be a GST exemption, informs Jagdish, who adds, “Jagriti normally charges `300 for a ticket, after GST implementation, this would go up till `354. Now, this will not necessarily reduce  our audience, but it isn’t going to generate any major income for the government either".

He states that even with the GST implementation, the sum collected through performance arts would only amount to a few lakhs in contrast with crores of rupees generated by retail business.
Jagdish says, “This isn't about making theatre tickets cheaper for audience members, but about supporting the art.”
Instead of encouraging the arts and artistes, the proposed 18 per cent GST is a burden that can stifle the performing arts states Jagriti's online petition. "Even a Bharatnatyam dancer goes to a guru to learn, spends years in training and then presents his/her/their performance at a local sabha. And you are going to tax that performance? Are you fools,” says Jagdish.

The government-run theatre venues such as Ravindra Kalakshetra and Gurunanak Bhavan Auditorium mostly rent their space out to performers, so the tax would hit the artistes and not them. “Jagriti as a performance space aims to further art and culture in the city. Following a long day at work, people come seek refuge in art. They come watch theatre for mental stimulation. This move by the government is penalising art,” says Jagdish.
Around 8 pm, over 170 people had signed Jagriti's online petition against GST.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp