28 percent GST not a problem, Pune concert is a hit

Updated: Dec 15, 2017, 20:52 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh

A little over a month ago, organisers of the 65th Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav, one of the most-awaited classical music festivals of the country, had urged the Centre to exempt Indian classical music concerts from GST

A little over a month ago, organisers of the 65th Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav, one of the most-awaited classical music festivals of the country, had urged the Centre to exempt Indian classical music concerts from GST. While the government is yet to respond to the Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal's request, the concert opened to a full house on its first day, Wednesday. The government imposes 28 per cent GST on concert tickets.

The music festival will be on till SaturdayThe music festival will be on till Saturday

According to sources, nearly 13,000 people attended the first day of the festival, which will celebrate music till Saturday. Renowned flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and santoor maestro Shivkumar Sharma kickstarted the event at the New English School Raman Baug Ground in Pune.

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi's son Shrinivas Joshi, who is the executive president of the organisation, said, "We haven't changed the ticket prices for this festival in the last 13 years. It always ranges between R350 and R4,000. The hike in ticket prices due to the GST will create problems in preserving and popularising the traditional Indian classical music."

Speaking to mid-day, one of the organisers said, "Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is expected to be in Pune on December 17. We will try to meet him to put forth our concerns."

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