Movie tickets costing more that Rs 100 have been brought down from 28 to 18 per cent, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced on Saturday. Celebrities like Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn have hailed the move.
Cinema tickets are among services set to get cheaper as they have been removed from the highest 28 per cent bracket under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. The decision came days after a meeting of members representing the Indian film industry with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss issues plaguing the business.
"This will help the industry move forward positively with increased investments in both exhibition infrastructure and creative development, enabling even better cinema and greater screen density across the country," Siddharth Roy Kapur, President of Producers Guild, said in a statement. "We look forward to continuing to engage with the government on initiatives that will help to unleash the full potential of the film industry."
Earlier this week, a delegation, including Karan Johar, Akshay, Bhushan Kumar, Kapur and Prasoon Joshi, met Modi in Mumbai. They pitched for lower and uniform rates of GST for the entertainment industry in India, apart from calling for the development of Mumbai as the global entertainment capital, through various initiatives and proactive approaches.
"Quick action and how! Within a few days of our meeting with honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modiji, the government addressed our concern...GST for movie tickets to be reduced. A welcome move for the industry and audiences as well," Akshay tweeted. Aamir also took to Twitter to thank Modi and the government of India for considering the request of the film industry for reduction in GST. "If Indian cinema hopes to compete in the world market, then we need the support of the government and administration. This is a great first step in that direction," he wrote.
Producer Ritesh Sidhwani also thanked Modi for "your immediate action of reduction in GST on cinema tickets". Ajay felt that the "voice of the film industry was finally heard and immediate action taken".Central Board of Film Certification chief Prasoon joshi thanked Modi for "hearing us out".
Actor Anupam Kher found the news to be "superb" for the Indian film industry and filmmaker Subhash Ghai thanked Modi for "such a swift action on our appeal". - IANS