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GST affects Bengali film industry hugely

The aftermath of GST and the Municipal Tax is pretty bad for the Tamil film industry which is slowly trying to come to terms with it.  Now we have one more film industry that also appears to be at the receiving end of this tax problem. Yes, we are talking about the Bengali film industry which is known for intelligent filmmakers and classy films.


Earlier on, theatres in Bengal were paying a tax of 2% to exhibit Bengali films and 30% for non-Bengali films. GST has put in place two slabs for all the films. Film tickets priced below Rs 100 now attract 18% GST, while on tickets above Rs 100, it is 28% tax. Out of these, the State government gets 50% of the collection. For exhibitors, it is a steep jump, from 2% to 18%.


However, the West Bengal government has decided to give a rebate on cinema tickets for Bengali, Nepali and Santhali languages which would be 7% for tickets priced up to Rs 100 and 12% for tickets more than Rs 100. This means the theatre owners would have to pay 9% (Central GST) and 2% (State GST), an increase of 7%, for tickets below Rs 100. Since GST portal has no provision of accepting a 11% tax, the exhibitors will have to pay the full amount, 18% and 28%  and then avail the refund on rebate later.


This has raised a lot of concern as theatre owners are not sure when they would get their rebate at all.


As it is, there is a bleak scenario in the Bengali film industry with many cinema theatres shutting down and people shifting to TV from cinema. Now, with the new tax structure, trade pundits feel that the industry is going to die down soon.


It is also said that many regional players are planning to approach the GST council expressing their problems. Let’s hope an amicable solution comes in soon.

GST affects Bengali film industry hugely

People looking for online information on Bengali film industry, GST will find this news story useful.