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Budget 2015: Sops for entertainment sector; TV sets, computer tablets made cheaper

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NEW DELHI: Perhaps because he is also holding the Information and Broadcasting portfolio, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, on Saturday, announced certain concessions long sought for by the entertainment industry.

While presenting the Budget 2015-2016, Jaitley announced that exemption to services provided by a performing artist in folk or classical art form of music, dance, or theatre will be limited only to such cases where amount charged is up to Rs 1,00,000 per performance (except brand ambassador). 

He also announced exemption of service tax for service provided by way of exhibition of movie by the exhibitor/theatre owner to the distributor or association of persons consisting of exhibitor as one of its members.

However in a review of the Negative list, which specifies items are exempt, he said service tax will be levied on the service provided by way of access to amusement facility such as rides, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, water parks, theme parks, etc.

Service tax will also be levied on service by way of admission to entertainment event of concerts, non-recognized sporting events, pageants, music concerts and award functions, if the amount charged for admission is more than Rs 500.

At the same time, service by way of admission to exhibition of the cinematographic film, circus, dance, or theatrical performances including drama, ballets or recognized sporting events shall continue to be exempt from tax.

With an aim to get reduction in Basic Customs Duty in order to cut the cost of raw materials, Jaitley said high-density polyethylene (HDPE) for use in the manufacture of telecommunication grade optical fibre cables is being reduced from 7.5 per cent to Nil.

The customs duty on black Light Unit Module for use in the manufacture of LCD/LED TV panels from 10 per cent to Nil and on organic LED (OLED) TV panels from 10 per cent to Nil.

By way of reduction in duty on certain inputs to address the problem of duty inversion, he included parts and components of Digital Still Image Video Camera capable of recording video with minimum resolution of 800x600 pixels, at minimum 23 frames per second, for at least 30 minutes in a single sequence, using the maximum storage (including the expanded) capacity.

Basic Customs Duty on Digital Still Image Video Camera capable of recording video with minimum resolution of 800x600 pixels, at minimum 23 frames per second, for at least 30 minutes in a single sequence, using the maximum storage (including the expanded) capacity is being reduced to Nil. Basic Customs Duty on parts and components of these cameras is also being reduced from five per cent to Nil.

Excise duty structure on certain goods is being restructured on mobiles handsets, including cellular phones from one per cent without Central Value Added Tax (CENVAT) credit or six per cent with CENVAT credit to one per cent without CENVAT credit or 12.5 per cent with CENVAT credit. NCCD of one per cent on mobile handsets including cellular phones remains unchanged.

Excise duty on tablet computers is being restructured from 12 per cent to two per cent without CENVAT credit or 12.5 per cent with CENVAT credit.

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