Mumbai: Maharashtra cabinet on Wednesday declared the Ajay Devgn, Kajol and Saif Ali Khan starer Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior tax-free in the state. The state finance department, led by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, had moved the proposal to make movie tax free.
As per the decision, the operators of cinema theatres and multiplexes will not recover the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) from the spectators, but it will be paid by them.
The government will refund the SGST to the operators of cinema theatres and multiplexes for the period from the date of release of the government's decision to April 30, 2020.
Even though, ministers from the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress agreed to declare the movie tax free, few ministers from the Congress, including Ashok Chavan, Balsasheb Thorat, Amit Deshmukh, Nitin Raut and Aslam Sheikh, and NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal wanted to know how much of additional burden the state government will have to bear because of the SGST refund. The finance department is yet to work out the details in this regard and it will be placed before the cabinet in due course of time.
These ministers were of the view that cinema theatre and multiplex operators will benefit the most, as they will get the SGST refund and not the public.
Congress ministers argued that the public would get rebate on tickets, which will be quite less in comparison to the relief cinema theatre and multiplex operators will get after the SGST refund.
Deshmukh and others proposed that the government needs to declare movie tax free at the time of its launch, as it will attract more viewers.
Congress and NCP ministers strongly argued that the decision should not be implemented with retrospection, but with prospect. The cabinet gave its consent for the same.
Sheikh and Bhujbal wanted to know whether the Deepika Padukone starer Chapak will also be declared tax free. However, the state cabinet did not take any decision on the same.