Ganesh Chaturthi

Music heats up winter session

21 December,2010 06:51 AM IST |   |  Urvashi Seth

Netas appeal to new revenue minister to come through for musicians whose livelihood has been threatened by the entertainment tax

Netas appeal to new revenue minister to come through for musicians whose livelihood has been threatened by the entertainment tax

Musicians are not cowing down so easily to the injustice meted out to them in the form of the new entertainment tax.

The entire struggle against the tax structure imposed by the ex-revenue minister Narayan Rane on live music has taken a political twist.

Musicians perform at a concert in Dahisar on Sunday, December 12 to protest the revision in the entertainment tax

MLA Krishna Hegde and Baba Siddiqui raised the issue of the entertainment tax during the winter session at Nagpur, appealing to the new revenue minister to look into the matter before the city loses all of its renowned musicians.

Recently, a team of musicians met MP Priya Dutt seeking her help on the matter after which Hegde raised the topic during the session appealing to the minister to look into the revisions in the entertainment tax that was announced by the ex-revenue minister.

Congress MP Priya Dutt said, "Our MPs have raised the issue in the winter session and demanded immediate action against the same.

Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat promised us that he will look into the matter after he studies the tax structure as he has just taken over the post as the new revenue minister."

Showing support

Supporting the cause, Dutt added, "We have received a draft copy from the musicians and we will do everything and anything to save the musician fraternity.
Many have lost their livelihood, which has indirectly affected the spirit of Mumbai because of which we are losing the talented performers in the city.
It is very sad to see great artistes jobless. We are hopeful that the minister will repeal the entertainment tax.
Weu00a0 will speak to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan about the same if the revenue minister is unable to do much on it."

Dutt added she couldn't attend the music bazaar on Sunday at Carter Road as she was in Delhi.
Krishna Hegde, an MLA from Vile Parle, echoed Dutt's sentiments.

"I love live music and whenever time permits I attend live events. It is sad to see that people are sacked from their job because of the recent tax structure.

We have appealed to the minister to look into the matter and we believe that he will soon act upon it," he said.

When MiD DAY spoke to Balasaheb Thorat, revenue minister, he said, "We will definitely look into the matter and if there is something we can do, we will rectify it.u00a0

I will be able to comment only after I go through the file submitted to us by the musicians."

Remembering cal

Kolkata once known for its night life during the 70s had faced a similar setback after the government imposed a
30 per cent entertainment tax on live music, forcing most restaurants on Park Street to fall silent.

Louis Banks, a Grammy award nominated film composer and renowned artist, who has been spearheading the jazz movement in the country feels Mumbai's nightlife will also die soon.

"It will be just like Kolkata, where the introduction of entertainment tax years back by the state government on live music had put an end to the shows.

Many had migrated to Canada, Australia and the UK while few went back to other cities like Mumbai, Goa and Bangalore where live music was free of any obstacles.

Kolkata had the best musicians like Carlton Kitto, one of the most popular jazz guitarists and Donald Saigal at one point of time. The recent tax imposed will result in the city losing its best talent," Banks said.

Music protest winter session entertainment tax