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    Published On : Tue, Dec 24th, 2013

    MSOs taking advantage of flawed 1923 laws, robbing Govt of Entertainment Tax in lakhs

    The shocking fact was revealed by none other than the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the State Legislature in its report. The report said the MSOs in Nagpur have not been functioning as per norms. The Committee has blamed the State Government for the bungle as these operators have not been regularized for payment of Entertainment Tax.

    Nagpur News: The Multi-System Operators (MSOs), who play a key role in the process of digitalisation of cable service in the city, have been found taking advantage of the loopholes in the present laws enacted way back in 1923 and the tax structure and thus robbing the Maharashtra Government of Entertainment Tax in lakhs.

    The shocking fact was revealed by none other than the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the State Legislature in its report. The report said the MSOs in Nagpur have not been functioning as per norms. The Committee has blamed the State Government for the bungle as these operators have not been regularised  for payment of Entertainment Tax. The Committee had suggested that an amendment needed to be made in the standing laws so that process of tax recovery can be smoothened.

    The PAC found several flaws in the tax structure after a detailed study and lamented that there were no clear rules for recovery of pending tax. The cable services have been digitalised in several big cities including Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad apart from Nagpur. The role of multi system operators is pivotal in digital television. Consumers can not view television channels until they have been activated by the operator. The committee said that there were no norms for MSOs in the entertainment laws. The Committee also suggested measures for this.

    The report further stated that cable operators slyly hide the precise number of consumers which ultimately results in losses worth several lakhs. The job of recovering Entertainment Tax lies with the Revenue Department but it lacks a proper system in this regard. Several advancements have been made in electronics but the law that stands to govern electronic entertainment had been made in 1923. The problems have arisen due to failure in amending these laws, the PAC stated

    The Public Accounts Committee asserted that the State Government is supposed to recover Rs. 45 from every connection after set top boxes were made mandatory. Cable operators have been recovering this amount from consumers but leaving the Government coffers high and dry. Operators in Nagpur have also failed to deposit taxes, the PAC found it in the study.

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