Earlier, The pain of getting 60 permits to shoot a Bollywood film or bribing ‘a room full of police officials’ to get licences for an event in Goa makes India’s entertainment business with ease of doing business.
Now In India, for entertainment industry it is easy to do business, there are fewer licences required, the process is simpler and the costs are lower as bribing government officials isn’t the norm. Mumbai is the most corrupt when it comes to shooting, we have to pay bribes to BMC officials, local cops, traffic police by the hour, every day.
In sharp contrast, Delhi has been making steady progress. A month ago, Delhi announced the implementation of the single window clearance policy. Currently the entertainment tax, electricity and fire clearance are under the purview of the single window system. After a few embarrassing fiascos in recent years, including Bryan Adam’s concert failing to receive an NOC, there is a list of 23 licensed venues in Delhi that do not require any fire and electricity clearance.
Having said that, high entertainment taxes continue to plague the industry. “Entertainment tax is one of the easiest sources of revenue for the state government.
In addition to the single window clearance policy being underway in certain states, industry body FICCI has been lobbying for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill to have entertainment tax subsumed. Instead of 10 different taxes, subsuming them under the GST bill simplifies the process for the industry. Also, antiquated laws need to done away with. For instance, one law states that a multiplex can’t be set up within 100 meters of a temple or school.