It's tax free entertainment this Navratri

Published: Oct 18, 2012, 08:39 IST | Priyankka Deshpande |

The government has declared that no entertainment tax will be levied on dandiya nights organised at open spaces; no relief for hotels, pubs

The state exchequer may witness a slight dip in its income, as the government has declared that no entertainment tax will be levied on dandiya nights — organised at open spaces — this Navratri. However, the Government Resolution (GR) clearly states that hotels and pubs organising the event will not get any tax exemption.

Fun-filled nights: About 18 Navratri events will be organised at several open spaces across the city this year. Representation pic

As a result, the department not received even a single application from hotels and pubs. While on the other hand, the officials have got requests for 18 events that will be organised at open spaces across the city.

The gain
Sandesh Deshmukh, who organises Navratri events, said, “We welcome the government’s decision. Our event, which starts from Friday, is for a cause. We are doing it for Save Girl Foundation, and the money generated through entry fee will go to the organisation.” He added that decision has come as a huge relief to them, because till last year they had to pay entertainment tax, along with other bills.

Likewise, Neha Mehta, another event organiser, said, “Garba nights are religious celebrations, and they should be exempted from any form of taxes. Besides, we don’t earn much profit from such events. Government’s decision will bring some relief for us.”

The pain
However, speaking to MiD DAY, an official said, “Those who organise dandiya nights in hotels or pubs generate a good money through sponsorships. Besides, they charge hefty amounts as entry fee.”

He added that such establishments are a good source of income for the state. He said, “The department charges 20 per cent of the entry fee as entertainment tax. This tax is levied as per the provisions in Section 3 (120) of the Mumbai Entertainment Tax Act 1923.”

“The government’s decision of exempting the lawns and open spaces from tax will affect on our business adversely. Very few event organisers have approached us for organising the dandiya nights this year,” said Ganesh Shetty, president of Restaurants and Hotelier’s Association.

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