KOLKATA: The Tollygunge film industry has welcomed the state government's decision to keep its share of entertainment tax on regional cinema tickets priced at Rs 100 and above unchanged after GST is implemented from July one.
At the same time, some people feared that after GST, the tax slab will still be steep for the local industry. "I appreciate the 7 per cent rebate announced by state Finance Minister Amit Mitra against the 18 per cent tax on every Rs 100 ticket.
It means, we will still have to pay Rs 11 for every Rs 100 ticket. This will harm single screens promoting Bengali films," owner of distributor Priya Entertainments, Arijit Dutta told PTI today. "
As declared by the state finance minister for every ticket priced over Rs 100, the hall owners will have to pay Rs 16 as tax. So despite the state's move, after GST roll out ticket prices will remain prohibitive for Bengali films and hurt small and medium budget films more," Dutta said.
Big time producer Mahendra Soni of Shri Venkatesh films said, "The state government's decision is great." "I am confident that it will help us a lot," he said. Actor Dev said, "We must keep in mind that in Bengali film industry Rs 5 to Rs 6 crore is considered as big budget for a film.
Films like 'Chander Pahar' with high production standard happens once in a while, he said. "We are seriously concerned whether Bengali films aiming at making 20 per cent profit will be able to do so or not after GST," the actor said asserting that he was speaking as a member of the entertainment industry.
"Already crippled by piracy and online threats, the small window of profit will now be lessened to a great extent with the GST move," Dev, who is also a Trinamool Congress MP said.
Commenting on GST, directors Kaushik Ganguly and Kamaleswar Mukherjee said, "It will hurt the interest of Bengali film industry."
Amit Mitra yesterday had said that for films in regional languages like Bengali, Nepali and Santali with tickets valued at Rs 100 and below, the state will keep its two per cent entertainment tax unchanged, thus offering a rebate of seven per cent to viewers.
Giving details of the state government's policy Mitra had explained that of the GST-mandated 18 per cent tax on cinema tickets up to Rs 100, the state would keep the nine per cent tax, but out of that a rebate of seven per cent would be offered to viewers.
Similarly, for movie tickets valued above Rs 100, the entertainment tax after the GST implementation would be 28 per cent.
For such tickets the state would offer a rebate of 12 per cent on its share of 14 per cent of entertainment tax, the minister explained.