Two days after Bollywood producer Mahesh Bhatt and actress Vidya Balan paid a courtesy call to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan; Madhya Pradesh Government exempted their forthcoming film ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ from entertainment tax in the state. The move was severely criticized by Congress.
Mohit Suri’s upcoming film is a romantic thriller in which Vidya Balan gets into an affair with a business tycoon played by Emraan Hashmi. The Mahesh Bhatt production is to hit theatres this Friday.
The State Congress vice-president Manak Agarwal has questioned the tax free status given to ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’. He said, “Every month, the Chief Minister announces exemption of entertainment cess from a Bollywood film. Chief minister seems suddenly charmed by Bollywood glitterati. Less than a fortnight ago, he exempted Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone starrer Piku from entertainment tax. We would understand if it was a film with a historical or moral, ethical value for society. But now Hamani Adhuri Kahani is a romance film. And without judging the contents of the film, how can a Government just exempt a purely commercial film venture from taxes just because the film’s producer and heroine paid him a visit?”
He further added, “Our point is, on the one hand state government is increasing VAT on petrol and encouraging sale of cigarettes and liquor to earn more revenue. And on the other, government exempts tax from entertainment. He is benefiting Bollywood and wrenching the common man with higher cess on petrol. The concept of a welfare state has totally gone out of focus for the chief minister.”
We wonder what the Chief Minister has to say regarding this. We shall keep you updated on this front.