A delegation of Indian Film & Television Producers Council (IFTPC) met CM Devendra Fadnavis and Finance minister, Sudhir Mungantiwar to apprise them the difficulties faced by the film industry especially in the light of GST Act which will be implemented from July 1st, 2017.
The Finance ministry of government of India has proposed a tax of 28% on cinema tickets and bracketed the same among luxury items. The industry fears that it will be a death knell for the film trade.
CM DEVENDRA FADNAVIS
The delegation led by Pahlaj Nihalani impressed upon the CM that the revenue from ticket sales are continuously dwindling and more than 90% of films are making losses. It is only the passion and dedication of Producers that has kept them going in spite of total lack of support from the Government.
Ramesh Taurani, eminent filmmaker and Honorary member of IFTPC emphasized that the average rate of entertainment tax presently is 10%, if the weight age for tax exemption granted to local language films and district wise variable rate of ET is taken into consideration. The proposed tax of 28% is actually a travesty of justice. He pleaded for drastic reduction in GST and urged the CM to provide impetus film industry to break free from the shackles of piracy, high taxes and lack of cinema infrastructure.
N. R. Pachisia, vice- President of IFPTC argued that total revenue collection from film entertainment is hardly Rs. 230 crores which is less than 0.2% of total revenue collection by Maharashtra Government. He informed further that more than 5 lac employees are dependent on the film Industry.
Vijay Galani, Vice-President of IFPTC lamented that there is already a massive decline in the footfall to cinema halls and any GST above 10-12% s will be disastrous to the film industry. He said that the growth of film industry has declined from 9.3% in 2015 to 3% in 2016.
It is reported that CM Devendra Fadnavis patiently heard the delegation and assured them that he will find a solution to the problem. He categorically informed the delegation that he will personally convince the central government to lower the GST to 18%. In a good humor CM said that this is his commitment and he never relegates on his commitment. Finance Minister S. Mungantiwar echoed his sentiment and emphatically assured the delegation that he will ensure that the total tax on cinema tickets will be much less than the present tax.
Ashish Shelar, Mumbai BJP chief facilitated the meeting. The delegation comprised of prominent film producers including Vijay Singh, CEO Fox Star, and Apoorva Mehta, CEO of Dharma productions. IFPTC later on expressed satisfaction at the outcome of meeting and hoped that CM Fadnavis may be their savior. They thanked BJP Mumbai president Ashish Shelar for all the support and help.