R.K. Radhakrishnan

Says no need for apprehension over entertainment tax waiver for movies

  • All schemes going as per schedule: Chief Minister
  • Healthy growth in tax collection: officials

    CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Tuesday that the Government would make good the loss suffered by local bodies on account of entertainment tax waiver for movies that have names in Tamil.

    The Government recently extended this concession to old movies too, and there was apprehension that local bodies would be the losers as the tax was one of their sources of revenue.

    Allaying such fears, Mr. Karunanidhi told The Hindu that the Government was in favour of strengthening the financial position of local bodies. When this was the case there was no need for any apprehension on this count. The total amount on this account was about Rs. 45 crore. "The Government will certainly give the local bodies the money they lose on account of the waiver on entertainment tax," he said, adding this was "not a big amount."

    Asked about the financial position of the Government after catering to various welfare measures, Mr. Karunanidhi said he had made announcements taking into consideration the financial health of the State. "We would not make announcements without making a financial provision for any scheme," he said and refuted criticism that the Government was headed for a financial crisis on account of the new schemes and the expected loss on account of the adoption of the Value- Added Tax regime.

    Review of schemes

    The Chief Minister, who completed a review of the progress of schemes of departments, said all the schemes were going as per schedule.

    On the revenue front, the projections of the State's Own Tax Revenues (from commercial taxes, sales tax excise, stamp duty and registration) were "on the dot."

    Officials explained that the State's target from its own revenue sources was Rs. 27,010.7 crore for the entire year. In the half year ending September 2006, it had collected Rs. 13,500 crore - nearly half of what was due for an entire year. The tax collection had shown a healthy growth and there was no cause for concern. Asked if he was conducting the review because he was not satisfied with the functioning of some departments, Mr. Karunanidhi said this was not the case. He followed the practice whenever he was Chief Minister. "I conduct a review of all Ministries once every six months so that I can find out the progress of works in each of the departments," he said and added that he was happy with their performance so far.