Maharashtra government reduces entertainment tax on DTH service

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Government has brought in a reduction in the entertainment tax on Direct to Home (DTH) service. The 'A' class municipal corporation areas, the entertainment tax of Rs 30 per television set would be levied while the 'B' class municipal council areas will be charged Rs 20 and rest of the areas will be charged Rs 10 per set.

The existing rates are Rs 90, Rs 60 and Rs 30, respectively. The decision comes at a time when the DTH scenario in the country is heating up. The government, this year, cleared the entry of the Star Group of India - Tata joint venture T-Sky and Sun's Sun Direct. Anil Ambani's Reliance Sky is also gearing up for a DTH venture.

The Maharashtra government is also in the process of conducting a survey to ascertain the exact number of cable connections in the state.

The government has also announced that subscription charges for direct to home (DTH) channels will be on par with that of regular cable networks. According to state Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, the change was being implemented with the view to break the monopoly of cable operators, who often evade taxes by misquoting the actual subscription numbers. With the policy change, the government hopes to keep a tab on the number of subscribers.

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