Maha govt wants Centre to waive GST on TKF

The Kashmir Files

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Wednesday rejected the demand of BJP legislators to waive tax on Hindi film “The Kashmir Files”, saying if the Centre waives GST on the movie, it will be applicable to the entire country.
Replying to a budget debate in the Legislative Assembly, Pawar, who is also the state’s finance minister, said the central Goods and Services Tax and the state GST are 50 per cent each.
“The issue in the film is about Kashmir. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken about the film in Parliament. If the central GST is waived, the tax waiver will be applicable to the entire country,” he said.
This angered the opposition BJP, which had submitted a memorandum signed by 92 of its MLAs to declare “The Kashmir Files” as tax-free. The BJP legislators staged a walkout.
Meanwhile, Pawar said the government has decided to increase the MLA fund from Rs 4 crore to Rs 5 crore. The salary of an MLA’s driver will be increased from Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000, and the salary of a personal assistant (PA) will be raised from Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000.
Speaking on the budget provisions, Pawar said the tax revenue is expected to increase by eight per cent. Efforts are being made to reduce the revenue deficit. The capital expenditure target is Rs 60,000 crore, he said.
The GST refund expected is Rs 26,400 crore, he added.
On Tuesday, 92 MLAs of the opposition BJP in Maharashtra signed a memorandum demanding entertainment tax exemption for “The Kashmir Files”.
The memorandum was submitted by senior BJP leader and chairperson of Maharashtra Legislature Public Accounts Committee Sudhir Mungantiwar to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The BJP had said the film conveys sentiments of patriotism and nationalism and, therefore, should be made tax-free in the state.
Written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri and produced by Zee Studios, the film depicts the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir following systematic killings of people from the community by Pakistan-backed terrorists.
It stars Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty and Pallavi Joshi among others.
Some states, including Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, have exempted the film from entertainment tax.