The Centre should act as a coordinator to bring uniformity in entertainment tax rates, currently varying between 30 per cent and 40 per cent across the country, for growth of the entertainment and media industry, Assocham has said.

“Entertainment industry is anticipated to grow at a rate of nearly 10 per cent for the next five years and would reach a level of Rs 1,000 billion…(however) uneven entertainment tax which is already in excess would curb its growth,” the industry body said. While entertainment is one of the basic needs of life, the entertainment tax levied on release of films in cinema halls is highly uneven across various states and is in excess of 30-40 per cent, the chamber said.

It further said that the government should remove withholding tax on discounts given to advertising agencies by newspapers on bulk purchases of space, stating that there is no scope of this tax. The Central Board of Direct Taxes is, however, of the view that such discounts is in the nature of commission or brokerage paid by newspapers to advertising agencies and accordingly is liable to withholding tax, it said.

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