While proposing around 1,500 per cent hike in charges for multiplexes, the BMC plans to increase theatre taxes, which are levied on cinema halls and theatres as well as circus and plays organised in both open and closed spaces.
The proposal is likely to be discussed in the Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday.
According to the proposal, multiplexes will now have to pay Rs 1,000 monthly for each screen per show. The current charges are Rs 60 per show per screen.
Also, for normal air-conditioned cinema halls, BMC has proposed Rs 200 per screen per show as against the current Rs 60 per show per screen. Non-AC cinema halls, which as of now pays Rs 45 per show per screen, will have to shell out Rs 150 per show per screen if the proposal is cleared.
The other sector that will see the highest increase in taxes will be national and international music concerts organised in open or closed spaces. Civic officials said that the concerts that have gatherings of more than 5,000 people will have to pay Rs 10,000 per show or per day if multiple groups are performing. Currently, the charges for such concerts are Rs 30 for per show.
Seven types of theatre taxes are levied by the BMC on different activities. Only Marathi and Gujarati theatres are excluded from such taxation.
“Earlier, the BMC tax structure did not include multiplexes. These new luxury places have one to eight screens and charge Rs 200 to Rs 1,550 per ticket. However, the BMC gets only Rs 60 as tax. This is a meagre amount in comparison to the profit these multiplexes are making,” said a senior BMC official.
He added, “The revision will also help BMC increase its revenue.” Following the pandemic, the civic body is facing severe financial crunch as its revenue has dipped. Following the Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday, the proposal will be sent to the state government for approval. “The last time theatre taxes were increased was in 2010,” said an official.
Theatre owners, however, expressed concern over the proposal. “After eight months, now we are preparing to reopen theatres. There was no business in these eight months but we still paid all taxes. We are facing huge losses. We are paying taxes to the state and central governments but what we are getting in return? There is no relief for us,” said Manoj Desai, executive director of G7 multiplex and Maratha Mandir Cinema.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines