Chandigarh, September 4: You may have to shell out more on movie tickets as the local Municipal Corporation (MC) has proposed to charge 20 per cent entertainment tax on tickets below Rs 100 and 30 per cent on those above Rs 100.
However, residents and traders rued, “This is against the GST’s promise of one nation, one tax.”
The agenda regarding the same will be brought in the MC General House meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for September 12, for final approval.
The cash-starved MC hopes to earn annual revenue of about Rs 15 crore from the tax, which will be in addition to the GST levied on the ticket price.
MC Commissioner KK Yadav said, “We are going to bring the entertainment tax agenda in the upcoming House meeting.”
Officials said entertainment tax was charged till 2017, but after the introduction of GST, it was not being imposed. However, the Lok Sabha in August 2017 had passed a Bill to allow the Chandigarh MC to levy a ‘reasonable’ entertainment tax on its own.
The power to levy such a tax in the UT, after GST, had rested with the Union government. The corporation did not charge entertainment tax for about two years. Officials said if they do not impose the tax, they might get audit objection on it.
However, people as well as those linked with cinema industry have given thumbs down to the decision.
“The tax should not be imposed as it will be a burden on public. Ultimately, the additional cost will be passed on to them. Already, watching a movie at a multiplex is a costly affair. This will discourage people from watching cinema and in turn affect the industry,” said Raj Juneja, a representative of city-based film distributors.
RK Garg, RTI activist and president, Second Innings Association, said, “This is against the spirit of one nation, one tax. The MC has already imposed electricity and cow cesses. This entertainment tax will further burden residents. On the other hand, the MC has failed to utilise its resources. It could not auction its vacant properties for years and failed to even allot tender of paid parking for six months now.”
‘Move will discourage cinemagoers’
The tax should not be imposed as it will be a burden. Already, watching a movie at a multiplex is a costly affair. This will discourage people from watching cinema and in turn affect the industry. — Raj Juneja, Representative of city film distributors