GST evasion led to raids, says Sambargi

Police personnel stand guard outside actor Puneeth Rajkumar's house at Sadashivnagar on Thursday, the second day of the I-T raid on the Sandalwood star. DH Photo/Janardhan B K

As speculations run rife about the reason behind I-T raids on Sandalwood stars, producer-turned-distributor Prashanth Sambargi has a different line of reasoning.

On Friday, Prashanth said I-T raids on Sandalwood stars are based on a solid tip-off from GST vigilance team and quoted various reasons on how the industry is avoiding GST.

In his Facebook post, Prashanth highlighted 10 key points behind the raid.

“Bengaluru multiplexes contribute 25% of revenues for South Indian movie producers and 15% for Hindi movie producers. But GST revenue from Bengaluru region on entertainment was the lowest. All UN organised distributors of Karnataka who distribute Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi films have evaded GST bill and legal agreement for film Distribution in Karnataka," Prashanth wrote in his Facebook post.

"UFO, CUBE movie content distributors' GST data and Multiplex GST data and single screen GST data does not sync. Basic Professional tax was not paid by any film actors and any film technicians in Karnataka. Film Heroes did not declare actual remuneration received," the Facebook post states further.

"Two top heroes took one villa and one flat from a builder in lieu of partial remuneration which was found in a builder GST raid. None of the heroes, heroines, musicians and technicians gave professional service bill with GST tax. Very unprofessional attitude by equity holders has created this income tax chaos in Sandalwood,” he wrote in his post.

Irked by I-T raids being painted as a political vendetta and targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sambargi said, “I am surprised that few unemployed social media addicts are painting this income tax raid to a political party and Prime Minister Modi. What a Joke! also nothing to do with KGF, Villain or other big budget films. I have more credible information from the income tax officials which will be shared later in my article titled- GST IN Entertainment Industry - Be Transparent Be Professional – Be part of Nation Building,” the post added.

Without taking names, Prashanth alleged that this culture was started by a well-known distributor, who also made other top stars follow him.

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