Soni tries to appease filmmakers

With the film industry announcing to go on a one-day strike anticipating that the government would levy a 10.3 per cent service tax on them, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Thursday said filmmakers should understand the “compulsion” of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

She, however, said she was ready to go along with a delegation of film makers from the industry to discuss the issue with the finance minister.

“They (filmmakers) have apprehension that service tax of about 10 per cent will be levied in the coming budget. They do not want this. I had spoken to Mahesh Bhatt yesterday (Wednesday). Whether they will go on strike or not, I don’t know…We also have to understand compulsions of the finance minister,” said Soni.

She pointed out that the finance minister hadd been talking about funds needed for various welfare measures to be taken by the government for people, including right to food, right to education and his position is also “tight.”

“I have offered that the information and broadcasting ministry will team up with the film industry. I am willing to put all my energy along with film industry,” she maintained.

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