Film Industry- GST Row: Pressure Will Not Work, Jaitley
New Delhi: Days after actor Kamal Haasan slammed the government for its proposal to bring film industry into 28% tax category under Goods and Services Tax (GST), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley firmly said that using media to pressurise government will not make any difference.
Meanwhile, Jaitley in an exclusive interview given to a national channel said, “We will look at each and every representation. But using the media as propaganda to pressurise the government is not going to work. We won’t be arm-twisted.”
He said that the total average of entertainment tax was 29.1 percent, while it would only be 28 percent under GST.
The film industry that was protesting against the proposed GST received support from Kamal Haasan last week when he sought to lower tax under GST.
Speaking then, Kamal also said that, “We should remember this is not East India Company. We see this as a big punishment for our industry, we are requesting the government to reduce the tax slab. ”
Taking offence at the proposal to charge cinema the same tax rate as ‘sinful’ items like alcohol and tobacco products, he said, “Cinema is my life…. I am offended that cinema has been put under the sinful category.”
Haasan said it was a wrong idea to club Bollywood movies, which have a budget of crores of rupees, and regional cinema, often produced on shoestring budget, in the same tax slab. “Regional cinema is the strength of Indian cinema. We need to maintain this diversity. We cannot bring monoculture. When industry cannot afford such high tax rate, it will collapse,” he warned.