Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today called for the states to rethink entertainment tax citing that taxing the happiness that people derive from cinema is unfair.
Naqvi, who was here to release short films on noted Indian personalities, said Centre is working on tax reforms and wants to end ‘tax terrorism’.
“Taxing people’s happiness where they can laugh is unfair,” he said, adding that the decision to abolish entertainment tax should be of the state governments.
Currently, Maharashtra levy 40 per cent entertainment tax, highest in the country.
Short films and documentaries were medium to increase knowledge on different issues and also to give effective cultural and social message, he said.
Naqvi said India had significant number of filmmakers who made short films and documentaries, which is very effective and independent. But have not received adequate encouragement.
Short films and documentaries can become strong custodian of social values, tradition and culture and can contribute towards society by raising issues concerning the common man, he said.
“There is need to encourage documentaries and short films as these films can help in awakening consciousness of the people on issues of economic, political, environmental, human rights, educational, health, women and gender equality and poverty,” he said.
He lauded international channels like History, Animal Planet and National Geographic for making effective short films using latest technology.
There are more viewers of such programmes than for entertainment programmes and Indian entertainment and news channels should keep slots for short films, he added.
Among the short films screened today, Naqvi has conceptualised films on freedom fighters like Chandrashekar Azad, Ashfaqulla Khan, Madanlal Dhingra, Mahatma Gandhi and father of Indian cinema Dadasaheb Phalke and were produced by Indian Infotainment Media Corporation.