Amusement park operators today asked the government to revise GST rate on the sector saying it was unfair to put entertainment industry for children at par with casinos, betting and race courses. Seeking a downward revision of tax rate to a maximum of 18 percent from the proposed 28 percent under the GST regime, Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries (IAAPI) said high taxation will be detrimental to the existence of the industry.
“The government’s policy with regard to amusement parks under the GST is not favourable and worldwide also the maximum tax levied on amusement park industry is 10 percent,” IAAPI Director Ajay Sarin told reporters here. The total average tax incidence at present comes to around 18 per cent pan-India, he added.
The GST Council has fixed 28 percent for visits to theme parks and sporting events like IPL under the new indirect tax regime slated to be implemented from July 1.
Sarin, who is also the Chairman of Hindustan Amusement Machines, said the new taxation puts outdoor entertainment industry for children at par with casinos, betting and race courses. He further said earlier amusement parks were exempted from tax and it was only last year that a service tax of 15 per cent was levied, which was still way less than the current 28 percent.
Proposing a tiered structure of taxation based on ticket prices, he said tickets for children must be kept at the lowest 5 percent bracket, while the most expensive ones must not be taxed at more than 18 percent. The association has already made representation to the Finance Ministry and the PMO, Sarin said.
IAAPI said amusement parks in India have contributed in creating 1.25 lakh jobs. At present, there are around 150-200 amusement parks across the country operation at an annual revenue of Rs 4000 crore. The association said the amusement parks industry must be treated similarly with hospitality and restaurants which fall in the GST slab of 12-18 per cent.