Is GST serving slow death to Marathi plays?

It has been a month after Goods and Services Tax (GST) was levied and is still showing an impact on various businesses, including Marathi drama and hotel industry. The drama industry is already struggling to keep Marathi drama and traditional folk dance prevalent, GST has hit them hard with a loss of 40 to 50 per cent. At the same time, the hotel owners have a complaint of 20% fall in business.

The new tax regime included a revised rate of movie tickets too. 18 per cent GST is applicable on movie tickets above Rs 250 and this has led to a drastic increase in the ticket rates which inherently pushes up the charges such as traveling costs of artists and catering expenses.

Following these reasons, the number of the audience coming to watch a Marathi play or traditional performances like Lavani has gone down, leading to declining in the number of events, reported Hindustan times.

Sadanand Mohol, president of Pune Exhibitors Association, that has 13 single screen theatres under its wings, told Indian Express, “Given that so far no entertainment tax was charged for regional films, so any amount of entertainment tax will deter moviegoers from coming to the theatre. The biggest impact of this will be on single-screen theatre owners who have been suffering losses from the past many years post the arrival of multiplexes.”

The people from the industry are trying to cut down on production prices and other things in order to keep the shows going and inviting citizens. Some producers have formed WhatsApp groups and shared link among citizens. They shared information regarding the show through the social platform announcing a discount on ticket window to attract citizens.

Sources: Hindustan timesIndian Express

Image source: Mumbai theatre guide

Pune airport authorities send out new directions for the staff

After Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha’s direction on Sunday, Pune airport authorities have guided their staff to be more caring about the passengers. During the late evening hours provide them with proper services and reduce their hassles at the airport.

There have been numerous issues rising during the late evening hours at the airport from the unavailability of trolley to absent staff. According to the authorities, they have sent out the notice to improve facilities.
An airport official told TOI, “”As far as the social media message that sent by a passenger is concerned, the matter has been taken up seriously. We have always been providing the best possible service to flyers arriving at and leaving from the airport. The passenger had tweeted a picture of people carrying their baggage around 11.30pm on July 22. This timing comes under the peak hours at the airport. However, necessary instructions have been given and the staff has been asked to follow them,”.

He also added that on a daily basis there are almost 158 flight movements and the airport becomes extremely crowded around 9 p.m.

Officials said that they have instructed the staff to move around and see that the trolleys which have been used and are left outside, should be brought back immediately for the waiting passengers.

 

Source – TOI

Image Source – Indian Express

Man caught for creating fake profile of Girish Bapat

A 30 year old man was arrested by the cyber cell of Pune Police for allegedly creating a fake profile of a minister from Maharashtra on social media and uploading objectionable content. Ruturaj Nalawade, the accused who lives in the Junnat tehsil of Pune district, created a fake profile in the name of Girish Bapat, food and civil supplies minister and posted his photos on it.

Sunil Mane, the publicity consultant of Minister Girish Bapat,  the BJP leader’s social media account, stated that he registered a case with Pune Police after he came across the account which had objectionable posts and pictures in it, stated NDTV.

Mane quoted, “The person used Bapat’s photos for creating the account and projected it as ‘genuine’. He also sent friend requests to people who are known to the minister.”

He added that various people even accepted the friend request on Facebook thinking it came directly from Girish Bapat, who is also the guardian minister of Pune district.

Ruturaj has been charged under section 500 (punishment for defamation) of the penal code and applicable sections of IT Act. A person can face imprisonment for up to two years, under section 500 of IPC.

Sources: The HinduNDTV
Image Source: File Photo from Loksatta

PMC to reduce tankers’ mismanagement; link bills to GPS records

The Pune Municipal Corporation standing committee on Wednesday has directed the tanker owners to maintain its GPS to prevent the mismanagement.

This move will definitely lessen the misappropriation and malpractices as it has been made mandatory by the civic body for the tanker owners to produce their journey details to get their bills approved.

Murlidhar Mohor, the chairman of the standing committee says to TOI, “The civic body has made it mandatory for the tanker owners to install GPS in vehicles. But many vehicles are operating without it. Even those having GPS are hardly of any use, because the data is not maintained properly. So, we have decided to link the data and payment. The aim behind the move is to keep proper records of the tankers’ movements.”

The public is charged based on the distance covered by the tanker. Citizens and activists have complained to the civic department about misuse of water tankers and misuse of PMC vehicles for personal work that leads to higher cost burden.

PMC which owns around 80 tankers also plans to install GPS on other municipal vehicles. It owns around 997 vehicles in separate depots out of which 475 vehicles belong to the waste management department.

Sources: Times of India, Maharashtra Today

Activists file petition over new NGT norms

Environmental activists and lawyers have expressed concerns over the Centre’s decision to dilute norms in the appointment processes of the chairperson and judicial members of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). They have filed a petition to the Chief Justice of India over the issue.

The activists feel that the move will defeat the very purpose of establishing the NGT as a body to handle issues related to the environment.

The changes apparently state that anyone who is a Supreme Court judge or qualified to be one or Chief Justice of High Court or has been an expert member or judicial member for three years can be selected as the chairperson of the NGT. Not only this, persons of ability, integrity and standing with a special knowledge of and professional experience of not less than 25 years in law, which should include five years of practical experience in the environmental and forest field can also be appointed to the post.

The NGT Act of 2010, on the other hand, stated that a current or former Supreme Court Judge or Chief Justice of High Court could only be chosen as the chairperson of the body.

“The objective of the government is clear behind making such new rules – it wants to curb operating independence of the NGT”, explained Asim Sarode, lawyer and head of the NGT Bar Association in Pune.

 

Sourced from TOI and Indian Environmental Portal

Restaurants duping customers post GST

One can call it a mistake, one can call it confusion and one can call it deliberate, but it seems like Pune based restaurants are taking advantage of the confusion among customers regarding GST.

bill

German Bakery Wunderbar, a bar cum restaurant near SB Road continues to charge 5% tax on Alcoholic beverages over the 18 % GST. When asked to clarify; Manager Aditya Shinde refused to comment on the situation, but mentioned that the restaurant is getting taxed by the wholesaler.  He asked us to contact the firms CA, but he has been unavailable for any comments.

Most of the restaurants have gone to a complete redesigning of their menu cards to replace the existing 3 tier (Service charge, VAT and service tax) structure with GST but in none of the restaurants the prices of the commodity have reduced.

Le Plaisir, an European themed restaurant based on Prabhat Road, increased their prices by 50 rupees per item just to hide that additional service charge which the customers are not liable to pay anymore.

Some of the restaurants in the city are charging 18% tax on home deliveries.

The situation was a bit different around Camp where some restaurants had put it up on their notice that they will continue to charge 6 per cent service tax.

Pune just became a bit more expensive for the food lovers than it already was, the move by the restaurants has been very un-welcoming and this could hurt the industry itself. With long queues on the counter for bill clarification how far of a stretch can this charade go.

​NFAI celebrates India’s first film screening

When the Lumière brothers first introduced the concept of motion picture to the world by screening L’arrivee d’un train (The Arrival of A Train) in 1895 in Paris, legend has it that people screamed and ran away afraid of the train coming towards them. In 1896, Indian audience witnessed the experience for the first time in a hotel in Bombay.

Today, more than a century later, the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) Pune organised screening of the Lumière films for cinema lovers to commemorate the world’s first film screening in India. The screening scheduled at 5 pm consisted of a single long reel of ten films including Entrée Du Cinematographe (Entry of Cinematograph)  and La Sortie de l’Usine Lumiere de Lyon (Workers Leaving the Factory Gate) among others. Additionally, the event had a surprise, recently found footage from With Our King and Queen Through India (1912), a film shot during the Delhi Durbar of 1911. The footage believed to have been lost till now was procured by the NFAI courtesy of Cineteca di Bologna, an international film research institution.

The event was free for all and witnessed a houseful audience of excited cinema lovers from all over Pune. The move by NFAI to celebrate the rich history of cinema was lauded by all.