Entertainment tax woes: Maharashtra single screens go on strike

MUMBAI: Maharashtra’s 650 odd single-screen theaters are planning to go on a week-long strike from 25 – 31 March owing to entertainment tax (ET) woes. In the light of the Rajasthan government abolishing entertainment tax in the state, theater owners in Maharashtra are demanding that the tax be reduced.
However, according to information available with Businessofcinema.com, single screens owned and operated by national multiplex chains will not go on strike.
At present, two states namely Rajasthan and Punjab do not charge entertainment tax, whereas the tax in Maharashtra is as high as 45 per cent. Some of the other states where ET is high are Uttar Pradesh (60%), Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Kerela (50%), Karnataka & Uttaranchal (40%).
On the other hand, the state of Gujarat has witnessed regular rate rationalization from entertainment tax of 165% a decade back to 100%, which later got reduced to 50% and further down to 25% in 2007. However, in Maharashtra, entertainment tax was reduced by a mere 5% in 2005.