Maharashtra govt proposes tax exemption for AVGC sector in state


MUMBAI: The Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) sector in Maharashtra is in for some treat. The sector, which so far has gone unnoticed in the state, has finally got itself a space in the fourth IT Policy, which will be sent to the Cabinet soon.

“I agree that the state has so far not focussed on the Media & Entertainment (M&E) sector,” said Government of Maharashtra principal secretary-industries Apurva Chandra at FICCI Frames 2015.

According to Chandra, AVGC is a part of the IT sector and hence has been included as a sub-section in the soon to be submitted IT Policy. “The perception is that the state is not friendly to the sector and we aim at shedding that with this policy,” said Chandra.

Chandra agreed that the AVGC sector, which was once strong in Maharashtra has been overtaken by Bangalore, where the government is taking several initiatives. “We would like to bring more AVGC centres into the state,” he added.

Maharashtra has the right ecosystem, the creative people and robust IT set up, which can give a boost to the AVGC sector.

One of the major points, which have been covered in the proposed policy is that of entertainment tax. The policy provides doing away with three kinds of taxes:

· Entertainment tax exemption for movies 100 per cent made in Maharashtra.

· Giving 100 per cent exemption from entertainment tax to animated movies, which have been converted from 2D to 3D in the state.

· 100 per cent tax exemption to live action movies, which minus the opening credits and end credits, has 50 per cent visual effects during the running time of the movie.

The AVGC policy also contains the provision for AVGC parks. “As part of this, all the incentives given to IT Parks will be made available to AVGC Parks. One such is the integrated IT Township, which will also become an integrated AVGC Township. Under this any land, whether it is private or public, above 10 hectare can be cleared as IT or AVGC Township. In this township, 60 per cent of the land will be for industrial moves like setting up studios and 40 per cent will be open to all. Above all a higher FSI (floor space index) would also be given. This can bring a lot of discipline not only in IT but the AVGC sector as well,” informed Chandra.  

AVGC centres will also be promoted in cities of Maharashtra through several incentives. “We will be providing financial support and are proposing a corpus fund of Rs 50 crore through the state government. In terms of clearance also, the state government is ready to support,” he added.

The policy also proposes a certification charge refund from the agencies. “Capital subsidy for larger AVGC centres will also be given,” he informed.  

The National Centre of Excellence, which was announced by the Finance Minister in Delhi has also been proposed to the Maharashtra government. The Media and Entertainment Council is currently working closely with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and other state governments to facilitate this for Maharashtra.   

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