Finance minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2017-18 in the Lok Sabha today. The Bollywood film industry, which is known to be a great source of revenue for the government and generates jobs for many, felt “left out” of this year’s budget. With the government not easing the heavy taxation and not providing any aid to the industry, members of the film industry have expressed their displeasure.
Film producer Mukesh Bhatt expressed his sadness saying, “The Finance Minister did not even mention the film industry in his budget. They feel like we do not exist. They didn’t even touch upon piracy which is impacting us in such a big way and also in turn affecting the government’s revenue. We are saddened!”
Admitting it was sad that the film industry wasn’t included in the budget, filmmaker Kunal Kohli questioned the role of members of the film industry elected in parliament. He said, “I feel members of the film fraternity, who are in the government, should be representing us and they need to put our point across to the government for them to look at. The film industry is in the limelight and is a great source of providing revenue and generating jobs.”
Speaking about his expectations from the Union budget, he said, “The entertainment tax is not uniform in the country and varies from state to state. It needs to be uniform and should be lowered. Another concern is that the government does not offer subsidies to filmmakers to shoot in the country or state, much like how foreign countries do. The state of Uttar Pradesh offers subsidies, but it is not the same for the remaining states.”
Singer and music composer Vishal Dadlani on the other hand seemed impressed with the government’s move to curb black money by introducing a cap of Rs 2,000 donation from an individual to a political party. In a series of tweets, the star engaged in a healthy debate with fans on the topic of the budget. He also shared his concerns about the budget providing no reward to upper-middle-class taxpayers.