Your private party on 31st may be filmed
Entertainment tax department's directive to party organisers to video-shoot New Year's Eve parties kicks up backlash from hotel industry and party goers who blast the "unreasonable" clause as a violation of privacy
Dress well and behave even more so if you plan to usher in the New Year at a top-drawer bash in the city. You may just be getting filmed by the party organisers.
According to a recent notice issued by the state’s entertainment tax department, all those who are organising New Year’s parties will have to make video recordings of the event.
That way, should anything go awry, the authorities will have proof to investigate the incident and take appropriate legal action, state authorities have said.
The circular further states that those conducting parties with disco lights and disco music will also have to pay entertainment tax, even if they are not charging entry fee.
MiD DAY has a copy of the letter issued by the collector’s office, which is in charge of collecting entertainment tax.
The letter outlines 11 directives meant for restaurateurs and hoteliers, issuing guidelines to follow while conducting New Year dos.
The directives have punctured the buoyant plans of many hotel owners and event managers. They think the clauses are impractical and violate the privacy of revellers.
“This is an infringement of privacy and disadvantageous for the organised hotel industry. We have to put up with the regulatory stringency while the unorganised sector goes scot-free. I don’t understand the need of videographing the event. Aren’t passes enough proof?” asked Kamlesh Barot, director, VIE Hospitality.
Ramji Gulati, a partner at Richboyz Pvt Ltd, who organises parties at many venues, said, “People come with their friends to have a private moment and if they find that we are shooting them on video, they won’t like it. This is not right on the part of the government to lay down such unacceptable and unfeasible clauses.”
Manisha Rawat, a party organiser from Mulund, said, “Rather than boosting tourism, the entertainment department is asking us to pay taxes when we are not even charging entry fees. The letter states disco music and light are also taxable, and that the organiser has to be present for the party – both very bad ideas.”
Mumbai city collector Chandrashekhar Oak remained unavailable for comment despite MiD DAY’s repeated attempts to get in touch with him.
Partygoers slam circular
If this is happening we are not going for such parties. Why do they come up with such weird norms?
— Haresh Jagtiani, resident of Khar
This is ridiculous. How can they video-shoot us without our permission? — Brinda Wadhwa, a call center executive from Malad
Entertainment tax for disco music? Seriously? Disco’s dead.
— Ahir Altamas, making a jab at the directives
Some of the 11 directives
>> Management has to charge entertainment tax @ 25% of entrance fees.
>> If management is arranging for disco lights and disco music, even then they are liable to pay the entertainment tax.
>> It is compulsory that the event manager is present at the event
>> Sometimes, the event manager schedules programmes without licence to avoid taxes. To avoid this, a supervisory team will be appointed.
>> For judicial purpose, proof is required, so video-shooting is recommended, and management’s cooperation is sought.
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