Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis supports film industry's demand for low GST: Producers guild

Jun 09, 2017, 10:30 IST | Bharati Dubey

Fadnavis supports film industry's demand for low GST: Producers guild
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

The Film and Television Producers Guild of India continues to raise industry's concerns on the adverse impact of the proposed GST rate of 28%.

During the consultation meeting held by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting on 6th June 2017 chaired by the Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu with the film industry representatives on Cinematograph bill, the industry representatives deliberated on various challenges and opportunities for the film industry including recommendations of Shyam Benegal Committee for changes in the film certification process, taxation, scarcity of Cinema Screens and Piracy.

The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis was also present in the meeting. On the GST rate issue, Fadnavis assured the film industry that the Maharashtra government will support Film Industry's demand to lower the GST rate to 18% in the forthcoming GST Council meeting. At the same time, Maharashtra government also agreed to rationalize any additional entertainment tax likely to be imposed by the Local Bodies in the GST regime.

The Maharashtra Chief Minister was extremely supportive on other long-standing issues such as Cinema licensing for new screens as well as modification of existing screens and announced that the licensing regime in the state will be removed and within 60 days the model law for cinema licensing will be introduced. In addition, the Single Window facilitation cell for shooting of films, Television programs and other audio-visual mediums in Maharashtra has been formed.

On the issue of piracy, both the central and state governments completely endorsed industry's views on an immediate need to amend existing laws such as Information Technology, Cinematograph and Copyright Acts to protect the legitimate rights of copyright owners. The film industry complimented the chief minister on the formation of Maharashtra Intellectual Property Crime Unit ('MIPCU') as an initiative to enforce strong anti-piracy measures.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, President of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India states that 'A rate of 18% GST or lower on cinema tickets would be in line with global taxation norms for the film sector and would go a long way in ensuring the long-term health of the industry.

The film industry is identified as a priority sector in many countries around the world and therefore not only are the tax rates on films usually lower than the national average, but in many countries the industry is also provided numerous incentives to drive growth and employment in the sector. I do hope our Central and State governments will look at the Indian film industry through a similar lens in the future'.

He further added 'I am delighted by the response from both the Maharashtra State and the Central Government in the meeting, with both the Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra strongly supporting and endorsing our suggestions on various matters of concern, from GST to piracy to screen density. We are hopeful that their actions in the future will provide the much-needed impetus the Indian film industry needs, to realize its vast untapped potential'.

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