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Friday, 02 June, 2017, 18 : 00 PM [IST]

Amusement industry complains about unfair GST rates

As per the Hindustan Times report, days before the GST panel will meet to hammer out discrepancies in the new tax rates, the entertainment park industry is crying foul over the proposed 28% tax for them.

The high GST rate has put the existence of these entertainment parks at peril forcing many of them to potentially shut their shops, said members of the Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries (IAAPI), which represents 150 amusement, theme and water parks and family entertainment centres in the country.

While accusing the government of unfairly equating amusement parks with casinos, betting and race course, the association said being into this business would become economically inviable due to high tax.

The high GST will also force the amusement parks to pass the burden on to the people making entertainment costlier to them and out of reach for many more, IAAPI representatives said on Thursday. “Such high taxation rate of 28% puts a big question mark on the sustenance of our entertainment parks in India. We are already under substantial stress owing to the existing high tax rates and low margins. Parks not only pay 15% entertainment tax to the states, they also paid additional 15% service tax slapped on the industry last year,” said Santokh Chawla of IAAPI, who runs Fun ‘n’ Food Village Amusement and Water Park in New Delhi.

“Categorising us alongside casinos, betting and race course is really unfortunate for an audience, which caters to family entertainment and recreation. It is a social infrastructure, which provides outdoor entertainment to children and youth, who are otherwise glued to gadgets and the digital world,” Chawla added.

Another IAAPI representative Ajay Sarin said the recreational park industry would like to urge the government to treat the industry at par with hospitality and restaurants which fall in the GST slab of 12%-18%.

“Globally, in markets where ever GST has been introduced, the rate is under 10%. In Australia it is 10%, Singapore 7%, Japan 5%, Malaysia 6% and Dubai is 0%,” he added.

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