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Where is tax from the two Sankranti blockbusters?

Where is tax from the two Sankranti blockbusters?

The Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh has decided to take over the business of online cinema ticketing only to plug the leakage of tax revenue to the state from the Telugu film industry.

The Jagan government is suspecting that somewhere some manipulation has been going on – whether it is at the exhibitors’ level or at the higher level in the film industry, so as to avoid payment of tax to the state.

It was openly disclosed by state minister for information and public relations Perni Nani at a press conference the other day.

He said two big-ticket Telugu films were released on Sankranti festival in 2020 and they turned out to be blockbusters.

“According to reports from the film industry, one of these two films had collected a gross of Rs 87 crore and the other more than Rs 83 crore in Andhra Pradesh market alone. Going by their own claims on the collections, the state government should have got around Rs 25 crore in the form of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on these two films alone,” Nani said.

However, the state government could not get more than Rs 40 crore in the form of GST from the Tollywood for the entire year of 2020-21.

“It clearly indicates that somewhere something is wrong in the ticket sales,” the minister said, indicating that there was definitely a large scale tax evasion from the film industry.

Though the minister did not mention the names of the two Telugu films released on Sankranti festival in 2020, it was pretty clear that he was talking about – “Ala Vaikuntapuramulo” starring Allu Arjun and “Sarileru Neekevvaru,” starring Mahesh Babu.

As of now, there is no statement from the film industry on the comments made by Nani on the two films. But unless there is a clarity from the makers of these films on what collections they had made and how much tax they had paid to the state government, the people cannot be faulted if they believe the minister’s statement!

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