Over 600 personalities from theatre and arts have signed an online campaign launched by Jagrithi Theatres opposing 18% GST on tickets priced above ₹250. The petition appeals to the GST Council to exempt performing arts from GST, as they fear it will have an impact on the footfall.
While one section argues that GST will hit theatregoers with costlier tickets, and artistes and production houses with costlier venue and equipment, another section is says it will have little impact.
According to B.T. Manohar, chairman, State Tax Committee, FKCCI, services provided by way of right to admission to circus, dance, or theatrical performance including drama and ballet, award function, concert, pageant musical performance or any sporting event, where admission costs more than ₹250 per person is liable for 18% GST. Services by an artiste by way of performance in folk or classical art forms music or theatre, if the consideration charged for such performance is not more than ₹1.5 lakh, is exempted.
Actor and theatre activist Prakash Belwadi said the new tax regime will not have a major impact on performing arts, especially theatre. However it is necessary to give “attention and time” to get a clear picture for the next one year, he added.
Senior officials of the Commercial Tax Department argue that GST is beneficial to the artist community, as tickets above ₹49 was attracting both entertainment and service tax. Now, the GST rate is less than the combined tax (entertainment and service tax).