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Bill placed to give boost to film industry

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 18 - With a bid to give a boost to the local film industry, the State government has proposed to reduce the service charge for cinema halls in Assam.

Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma introduced �The Assam Amusements and Betting Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2016� at the Legislative Assembly today.

The Bill proposes to fix the service charge at maximum of Rs 12 per ticket, which is Rs 40 at present. It will be Rs 8 per ticket for the halls without air conditioning and Rs 12 for halls with air conditioning and back-up generator.

As per the Bill, the entertainment tax will be 30 per cent compared to 20 per cent now in case the admission charge is more than Rs 30.

In addition, a cess of one rupee will be levied on each ticket for creating a welfare fund for film and theatre sector people named �Silpee Aru Kalakushali Kalyan Nidhi�, or the Artists and Technicians Welfare Fund.

Speaking to reporters later, Sarma said that the welfare fund is expected to raise around Rs 2-2.5 crore every year. It will be coordinated by the cultural affairs department.

He said that the government has accepted the recommendation by the expert committee of filmmakers on service charge.

�We are also thinking of making it mandatory for cinema halls to run a minimum number of shows for Assamese films,� he said, but added that there is a need to proceed cautiously in this regard, especially with regard to the quality of films.

�So we are thinking of setting up a committee to evaluate films and find out if they are good and have a minimum standard,� said Sarma.

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