No strike now: Bollywood happy with tax exemption

Mumbai: Producer Mukesh Bhatt is delighted with the government`s decision to exempt the film industry from service tax. Filmmaker Goldie Behl termed it positive news.

The film industry was planning a nationwide shutdown to protest against central government`s decision to levy service tax. The strike was called by the Film Federation of India (FFI). However, after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee`s decision to exempt it, the industry has no plans to go on strike.

"There is no strike happening and I am happy and thankful with this decision. The film industry should not be burdened with the service tax," Bhatt, vice president of Film Producers` Guild said

"Exempting the film industry from the service tax is the best gift given by the finance minister. Had it been included, the entire industry would have been wiped out," he added.

However, it was called off till the budget session after the industry officials met Mukherjee.

"I am glad that the government has exempted the film industry from service tax. It is positive news for the industry. Had it been imposed, the burden on producers would have increased a lot. I hope in future more and more initiatives are taken to lessen the burden on the industry, specially on the producers," Behl told IANS.

Sanjeev Lamba, CEO, Reliance Entertainment, also termed the tax exemption a huge positive for the industry.

"With no service tax now on transfer of copyright and entertainment becoming a part of the negative list, this is a huge positive for the industry," Lamba said.

"There will however be a negative impact due to the general increase in service tax, excise and custom duties.The determination of bringing GST from August 12, sounds quite optimistic. It will bring radical and positive changes in the taxation," he added.