The general House on Monday rejected the proposal by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to levy entertainment tax on movie tickets after Member of Parliament Kirron Kher said that already people are heavily charged when they watch a movie in a multiplex and the new entertainment amounted to overburdening.
The MC had proposed that 20 percent tax may be levied on tickets costing Rs 100 and below while 30 percent tax may be levied on tickets above Rs 100. In most multiplexes, the tickets cost more than Rs 100. The moved was aimed at generating revenue for the civic body.
MP Kher, who attended the House meeting, said that where art is being encouraged, how can tax be levied on it. She further said that the government was for “One Nation One Tax”.
“In today’s times, a common man who goes for an outing with family cannot afford a movie at multiplex. Kids go with them and when they buy some pop corns or other eatables that is already a burden on them. And why do we want to multiply the burden by levying this tax,” she said.
Kher added that film industry needs a boost and questioned the imposition of more taxes on it. She also said that at other places where it was levied, it was not successful. As BJP Councillor Ravi Kant Sharma went ahead to say about states that levied the tax, Kher flared up and said that people will not be burdened with this tax in Chandigarh. Following this, the House rejected the agenda.
The agenda had been pending for long. In August 2017, the Lok Sabha had passed a bill that sought to transfer the Centre’s power to levy entertainment and amusement taxes in Chandigarh to the municipal corporation.
“To keep the health of the municipalities in mind, the municipalities have been given the right to levy a certain reasonable tax if they feel so. Now, this is a dichotomy. But this is how the architecture has come about. I have personally written to every chief minister saying that till such time that the GST stabilizes itself, we must not consider seriously imposing some of these taxes because they may increase the burden,” the then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said while replying to a brief debate on the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law (Extension to Chandigarh) Amendment Bill 2017.
Under the 1994 Act, the central government had the power to levy entertainment tax and entertainment duty for Chandigarh, it was stated in the Parliament.
On the observation in the Parliament that time, Kher said in the House, “ I did hear what was said in the Parliament. It was clearly said – if municipal bodies feel so..”