Maharashtra govt withdraws surcharge on entertainment tax

Maharashtra government today withdrew its last week's decision of levying surcharge on existing entertainment duty of 45 per cent.

After a Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said the decision to withdraw the surcharge was taken because the entertainment duty of 45 per cent was already too high in the state.

"Maharashtra is the home of the film industry," he added.

Last week, the Cabinet had decided to levy a surcharge of 15-25 per cent on entertainment tax for tickets above Rs 250.

Multiplexes hike their ticket rates during release of big budget blockbuster movies.

"Due to this, only cinema owners and film producers benefited and the government did not get additional revenue," officials in the revenue department had said last week.

In view of the centenary celebrations of the film industry, single screen theatres in rural areas were exempted from paying entertainment tax for seven years and in A, B and C municipal council limits, for five years.

According to the government, the decision will revive and encourage the single screen cinema halls in small towns and villages.

In order to ensure good infrastructure facilities for single screen theatres, the government has allowed them to double the service tax from the existing Rs 6.50 for air conditioned halls upto Rs 14, if they use computerised ticketing and digital screens.

Non-AC cinema theatres will get to increase their service charge from Rs 5.50 to Rs 12, if they also use computerised ticketing and digital screens.

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