Art is not a commodity, says the circle
The Goods and Services Tax (GST), which aims to create a uniform taxation structure across India, is painting a sad picture for the art market in the country. After implementation, it will bring artworks in the slab of 12% tax slab, making them rather more expensive. So far, barring a few states, art was exempted from tax.
This has naturally upset the art community, which fears that the already struggling art industry will suffer more, and that budding artists will now find even fewer buyers.
Art curator Erum Khan says, “Art is not a requirement, but a choice. If a show is held, only 2-5% of the works are sold. There are no schemes, no governmentdriven initiatives, and no incentives for artists. On top of that, GST will lead to higher prices. What artists need is motivation and not a push back.”
Curator Ina puri believes that due to demonetisation, the whole industry is already facing a crisis and taxes will affect it severely. Puri says, “Sixty auction houses have already stopped working across India after demonetisation. GST will make it more difficult for us. Look at China. It gave a tax holiday of 10 years to artists.”
On the contrary, curator Sushma Bhel supports the decision, saying, “The art industry’s documentation is not proper and GST will bring in a system, simplify it.”
And painter Gopi Gajwani believes that for real art collectors, the additional cost of the tax won’t be a hurdle.
Even if GST adds `10,000 to the price of an artwork, an art lover won’t shy away from buying it. The market for art is niche GOPI GAJWANI, ARTIST
The government’s decision to put cinema tickets under the 28% tax bracket in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime is unfortunate for the film industry, feels Siddharth Roy Kapur
(right), President of The Film and Television Producers Guild of India.
“The GST rate of 28% announced on cinema tickets is a huge setback for the film industry. The industry had proposed a rate of 5% in our representations to the government, in order to revive a business which has been struggling from lack of fresh investments in new cinema screens and a significant increase in online piracy,” Kapur said in a statement.
The GST Council on Friday decided a four-slab tax rate for services that will roll out from July 1. “In the existing tax regime, the cinema exhibition sector was exempted from service tax and state VAT (value added tax), and entertainment tax was the only tax imposed on cinema tickets by states and local bodies. The average entertainment tax collected nationally by the government across all states and languages was in the range of 8-10% of gross box office revenue. Hence, logically the GST rate should not have been more than 12%, in order to avoid any exchequer loss,” Kapur said. He termed the decision as “disheartening”.
The industry had proposed a rate of 5% in our representations to the government, in order to revive the business SIDDHARTH ROY KAPUR, PRODUCER