18August2019

Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

Letters to the Editor

Why Can’s Entertainment Tax be Waived Off for Benefiting Cinema Goers?

Divyum Talkies at Prathrapore the lone cinema theatre with its splendidly designed complex in the islands which has two cine halls Priyam and Diviyum, each with seating capacity of 110 and 108 respectively screens latest Bollywood, Hollywood and regional movies daily in the complex.

Historically, before India acquired independence, British government imposed heavy taxes on the events of amusements and entertainment. After independence, old enactments continued and there has been no revision or repeal of these acts. Movie tickets, large commercial shows and large private festival celebrations may incur an entertainment tax. Entertainment tax structure in India varies across states and is the highest in Uttar Pradesh at 60 per cent. In Maharashtra, entertainment tax was reduced by five per cent in 2005.There is no tax for Tamil films in Tamil Nadu or for Marathi films in Maharashtra. Some states give a five-year tax exemption to single-screen theatres under municipal councils and a seven-year exemption in rural areas. In Tamil Nadu according to the new guidelines it is not just enough that a film has Tamil titles. A film must not have too much of adult stuff & blood and violence should be very limited. Films seeking entertainment has exemption must also have a story crux that does not delineate form the Tamil culture, a movie will be eligible for tax exemption only when all these condition are satisfied. In March 2011, Rajasthan become the first state to exempt theatres from entertainment tax the state government has set new rules for films seeks entertainment tax waiver,

There is also a provision to grant tax exemption to films which have received National & International awards. Entertainment shows organised to promote the cause of education, philanthropy and sports are also granted tax exemptions.

A committee consisting of Chief Secretary, Deputy Commissioner, Secretaries of tourism and finance departments, if formed can  grant liberal exemptions, and the theatre owner  can apply  for tax exemption to the administration for  films which have received National or International awards and wait for a positive outcome in the near future. The tax benefits therefore should be passed on to the cinema goers. School children can block the entire hall where in some educational film can be shown to them, now the rate per ticket is Rs 160/- and 15% entertainment tax waiver means for a family of five persons 24 X 5 =120, this will reduce the price drastically which will immensely benefit the poor sections of the society, and adolescents who frequently hang out in bars after sunset.

- Dr. Dinesh

  • Written by Denis Giles
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Food Safety for All

Under the Food Safety Act Rules and Regulation all eateries including Hospital Kitchen, Hostel Kitchen, Temples, Churches  etc. wherever Food is served  to masses has to be registered even if the Food is served free of cost, this is to ensure that these places also is certified under the Food Safety Act. But why the government establishments are left out and only insisting for Private firms. By ensuring Food Safety compliance the Hospital Kitchen also needs to ensure the minimum criteria that any one has to do, so that the patients also get safe food.

Last year food poisoning at Bakultala Panchayat sweet distribution during 26th Jan 2013 was without Food Safety Registration. Now it is to be seen that at all places wherever sweet is distributed during the 26th Jan Republic Day function, the Food Safety department needs to ensure that the department is buying genuine food from licensed or registered premises and samples needs to be collected before sweets are distributed !!!!!

B. Kumar

 

Rangat

  • Written by Denis Giles
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Challenging the “Status-quo”?

Coming to understand the facts our islands by keenly observing the situation prevailing, I am forced to realise that in our Islands the mindset of people has been altered in such a way that it is presumed, the only way of getting things done through govt. officials is ‘bribe’.

Here is one officer & her team who proactively approached public & with complaints acted upon individuals who indulged in corrupt practices, under the prevailing norms. They were duly arrested for their offence.

Yes, I’m talking about the talk of the town, Mrs Aslam Khan, IPS officer, SP (ACU). She and her team methodically tried to address by being active in the best possible means of social media and urging public to inform & complain about the corrupt practices.

The general public informed and the team cracked on corruption at various parts of our isles. Considering this in background, it was very optimistic especially at the outset when our current LG AK Singh took over the constitutional post for our isles. The post of Lt. Governor of A&N Islands is the single most powerful unelected post across country. A Lt. Governor with good intentions can change the situation of the islands, being the Administrator himself.

Soon after joining as the Lt. Governor and the Administrator, one of the first promises the LG AK Singh made was to challenge “corruption” prevailing in our isles, as quoted on August 15th at historic Netaji stadium “Will strive to promote a responsive, effective and transparent Administration to the Islanders, with a zero tolerance towards corruption” but unfortunately the action has been opposite. Within few months of taking of the Anti-corruption unit (ACU), this brave officer has been transferred to Police Training School.

Now the question that arises in my mind is, either go down challenging the “status-quo” or to overcome the “status-quo”.

Thanks Mrs Aslam Khan & team for doing your bit in challenging this status-quo. Your team has the highest sympathy from the islanders for giving your best and ultimately succumbing to the pressure from certain corners.

 

Yasir MB, UAE

  • Written by Denis Giles
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