Mamata to take up filmmakers’ tax woes with government

Monday, November 22, 2010

PANAJI - Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday said she will take up the film industry’s concerns over taxation with the government. Her assurance came after filmmaker Yash Chopra raised the issue at the start of the 41st International Film festival of India (IFFI) here.

Speaking during the inaugural ceremony of the IFFI here, Banerjee agreed to take up the cudgels for the film industry on tax issues with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

“It is a matter related to the finance ministry and I will take up the issue of taxation with Pranab da (Mukherjee),” Banerjee said.

“Taxation is too much. I must pursue the matter. The film industry has contributed a lot to the country,” the Trinamool Congress leader said.

Chopra earlier said that the Indian film industry would be writing its obituary soon, if it was taxed any further.

Chopra slammed the government for devising a virtually strangulating tax regime, which comprised of a cocktail of taxes, including value added tax (VAT) and stamp duty.

Why is the government (central) treating us in a step-motherly manner? If these new taxes come, I am sure they will come because they have made up their mind, filmmakers will not be able to make movies anymore, said Chopra, who has won several awards including the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for lifetime achievement in films.

India celebrates 100 years of cinema in 2012 and maybe they will be writing the obituary of Indian cinema then, Chopra said.

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