Bollywood’s initial reaction to tax exemption: positive

Pranab Mukherjee
MUMBAI: Producer Mukesh Bhatt is delighted with the government’s decision to exempt the film industry from service tax. Filmmaker Goldie Behl termed it positive news.

Post "the best gift" from Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee while presenting the budget for 2012-13 in the Lok Sabha on Friday, the industry has no plans to go on strike – as it had threatened to on the tax issue.

"There is no strike happening and I am happy and thankful with this decision. The film industry should not be burdened with the service tax," Bhatt, vice president of Film Producers’ Guild, told IANS.

"Exempting the film industry from the service tax is the best gift given by the finance minister. Had it been included, the entire industry would have been wiped out," he added.

The film industry was planning a nationwide shutdown to protest against central government’s decision to levy service tax. The strike was called by the Film Federation of India (FFI).

However, it was called off till the budget session after the industry officials met Mukherjee.

"I am glad that the goverment has exempted the film indusrty from service tax. It is positve news for the industry. Had it been imposed, the burden on producers would have increased a lot. I hope in future more and more initiatives are taken to lessen the burden on the industry, specially on the producers," Behl told IANS.