Bollywood goes berserk on Govt’s decision of levying service tax

The Government has come up with the decision of levying a service tax of 12.36% on television and film actors. However, Bollywood is expected to call a strike on the issue.

Mukesh Bhatt who is the president of the ‘Film and Television Producers Guild of India’ said in an interview, “We are in a process of deciding that if we have to call for a shut down. It's not our choice, we are compelled to do so. We are having a meeting soon and then we will decide about it.”

Ramesh Taurani who has successfully produced movies like “Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani” and the upcoming “Race 2” informed that all the producers of the industry will be meeting to discuss on the issue on Wednesday.

Ramesh Taurani was quoted as saying, “Tomorrow (Wednesday) all the producers will have a meeting where we will have to find a solution to the problem. It's an additional burden on us and we can't handle this anymore.”

This service tax that will be levied will be effective from the current month. Television and film actors will be indicted 12.36% of their income from endorsements, films and TV shows as service tax.

This indirect tax will be charged in addition to the income tax. This has perturbed the producers more than anybody else as they feel they will have to face the consequences of such a decision.

This new tax system has dampened down the festivities of this industry as the Indian cinema had been celebrating its 100th year this year.

Ramesh Taurani added, “It saddens me that in the 100th year of Indian cinema, we should be celebrating, but how can one celebrate with this burden and the insensitivity of the government (towards film fraternity)," he said. "I am extremely saddened (with the service tax decision) and we can't take this burden anymore. The war is still on and we are looking at a negotiation with the government. The government has no feelings towards the Indian film fraternity.”

In the Southern film industry as well, all the leading stars, producers and directors objected to this decision through a hunger-strike. This day-long protest had also been joined by superstar Rajnikanth.

Mr Bhatt said, “If we go by the statistics, the amount earned by the films is as high as that off tobacco and alcohol. Ours is a creative team so my request to the government is - don't look at us at the same way, we are not injurious to health.”

The film industry has surely got perturbed by this news. Only time will tell if this industry and the government are able to come to a settlement.