Budget gives some cheers for film industry
The Indian film industry had something to cheer about in the Budget today following the proposal to exempt it from Service Tax on copyrights relating to recording of cinematographic films. The proposal announced by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in his 2012-13 Budget speech was welcomed by Bollywood which said it is a huge relief and the "best gift" for the film industry coinciding with the start of the Centenary year of Indian Cinema this year.
The Film Producers Guild called off its proposed strike to press for the exemption after Mukherjee made the announcement. It has been making this demand for a long time. With this move, the film exhibitors would be exempted from levy of service tax on payments made by them to distributors for exploitation of cinematographic rights. It is expected to improve the overall cash flows and improve finances of the film sector.
Mukherjee drew applause in the Lok Sabha when he made a reference to changing trends in film titles while making the announcement. "Despite the change in titles from Dada Saheb Phalke's "Raja Harishchandra" to "Ra.One" in recent times, the industry has played a pivotal role in unifying our country in the wake of her considerable diversity," he said.
Guild Vice-President Mukesh Bhatt said the film industry is very much happy with the exemption in service tax. "It was gracious of them to consider our demand. We are grateful to them and we have called off our strike," he told PTI.
"It is the best gift for the industry at the time of completing 100 years," he said. The film industry had threatened to go on strike if there was no exemption in the service tax in the budget. "It is a mind blowing thing. It is a huge victory for the film industry," Director Anubhav Sinha said. "It is a huge relief for the film industry. This shows that our concerns were well understood by the Finance Minister," Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said.
Director Anees Bazmee, whose latest film 'Ready' starring Salman Khan was a runway hit, said, "It is a good thing that they gave us the exemption." PTI