Bollywood films that secured tax exemption

Bollywood films that secured tax exemption

Bollywood films that secured tax exemption

Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri’s movement-cinema The Kashmir Files   is growing from strength to strength. Following Haryana, the governments of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh on Sunday declared The Kashmir Files movie tax-free. Here is a look at the five other important films that gained box-office momentum after being declared   tax-free.

Toilet Ek Prem Katha (2017):  The first film of the post-GST era to get tax exemption in Uttar Pradesh, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha addressed the social issue of privacy for women to attend to the call of nature. Akshay Kumar had championed the cause for as long as the film was being promoted. After the film’s release director Shree Narayan Singh and the team moved on. Another Akshay atma-vishwas saga that got a lift after tax exemption was Airlift which is by far the best film the actor has done in his career.

Chhapaak (2019): How much better this heart-rending film would have worked had it starred the actual victim Laxmi Aggarwal rather than Deepika Padukone who faked her way through the victim’s genuine anguish. In fact, the real victim had dissociated herself from the project and Deepika’s name had to be changed to Malti. The tax exemption seems to have been granted only on compassionate grounds in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Tanhaji (2020): The story of the valorous Maratha warrior generated a deep sense of nationalism specially in Maharashtra. Quick to cash in on those sentiments, the Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments declared the film tax-free. However, the Covid pandemic struck before the film could benefit from the tax relief.

Bajirao Mastani (2015): The Uttar Pradesh government granted tax exemption to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus a full month after its release. In those four opening weeks, the film had already raked in the optimum moolah. Moral of the story: if tax benefits are to be availed by a film they should be offered on release.

Dangal/Neerja (2016): Two major films during the same year were given a tax exemption in several states, and very deservingly so. Dangal and Neerja both espoused female empowerment in their own different ways.  But the   question that needs to be answered is, what is the purpose of giving big-budgeted films tax exemption, when they can afford to pay their taxes?

Subhash K Jha is a Patna-based film critic who has been writing about Bollywood for long enough to know the industry inside out. He tweets at @SubhashK_Jha.

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