MUMBAI: The Film & Television Producers Guild of India Ltd. has submitted its pre-budget memorandum for the financial year 2008-2009 to I&B Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi. Through this communication from Guild president Ronnie Screwvala, the Guild has enumerated various issues of concern to the entertainment industry with a focus on Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) concessions.
The Guild explains the rationale behind their suggestion of the need to exempt the entertainment industry from FBT. Firstly, it was stated that inspite of Fringe Benefit Tax being chargeable on all expenses like Travel, Hotel, Food etc. pertaining to technicians and other unit members during shootings in outdoor locations, considering the genuineness and unavoidable nature of such expenses, it was improper to levy tax on the same.
Secondly, the Guild harped on the differentiation in production patterns of other business organizations and film producers in terms of centralization/decentralization of location, pre-worked/lack of pre-worked budgeting etc. The Guild summed up its explanation by stating that, in consideration of the above facts, treating the film industry in line with other manufacturing industries could not be justified obviating an urgent need for Fringe Benefit Tax on the entertainment industry to be exempted.
The Guild also advocated critical issues bearing repercussions on the entertainment industry such as Advance Tax, Tax Deducted at Source, VAT, CVD, Customs Duty, Benefits to Small Producers and sops for animation sector in the Pre-Budget Memorandum.