Entertainment tax cap at 45%: Centre to tell states

MUMBAI: The Central government on Monday has stated that it would ask the state governments to cap entertainment tax at 45 per cent.

It will also recommend the appointment of separate nodal officers for checking piracy, implementing the Cable Act and ensuring single-window clearance for film shootings.

Information and broadcasting (I&B) minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that a meeting of all state information and finance ministers would be called soon to discuss the economics of this proposal. He explained that lower entertainment tax would, in fact, bring in more revenue for the states.

"We have decided to ask the states to cap the entertainment tax at 45 per cent, down from the present ceiling of 60 per cent," he said, after the state information ministers' meeting in Delhi. However, Prasad clarified that this was a state subject and the Centre could only make a suggestion. It was up to the states to implement them, he stated.

Currently, the Bihar government charges 110 per cent entertainment tax, it's much less in West Bengal at 30 per cent, in Uttar Pradesh at 60 per cent and in Tamil Nadu at 25 per cent. States like Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab have a tax rate of 50 per cent each, Prasad said.

Media reports also quoted Prasad as saying that the Centre has decided to ensure enforcement of anti-piracy measures, sensitise the police and appoint an anti-piracy nodal officer in each state, to curb piracy.

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