The Punjab council of ministers on Wednesday approved levy of taxes on entertainment and amusements in all municipalities and panchayats of the state. It will also include a tax on local cable TV connections. However, no entertainment tax has been proposed on cinemas.

The cabinet discussed and approved a proposal mooted by the local government department to levy nominal monthly entertainment tax at rate of Rs 5 per DTH connection and Rs 2 per local cable connection by all the urban local bodies and gram panchayats of the state.

The government hopes to generate an annual income of around Rs 45-47 crore for the urban local bodies and panchayats of Punjab. Of this, Rs 9.6 crore is likely to be accrued on nearly 16 lakh DTH connections and Rs 36.96 crore on 44 lakh cable TV connections across the state.

However, no entertainment tax has been proposed on cinemas, multiplexes, amusement parks and other similar places providing facilities for entertainment and amusements.

"The Punjab Entertainments & Amusements Taxes (Levy & Collection by Local Bodies) Ordinance, 2017," was approved by the cabinet on Wednesday during a meeting chaired by chief minister Amarinder Singh. The move was necessitated by the introduction of the GST by the Union government with effect from July 1, as a result of which entertainment tax being levied and collected by the state through the department of excise and taxation stood withdrawn.

The power of levying entertainment tax has now been conferred upon the panchayats and municipalities through an amendment to entry 62 of the state list in the 7th schedule of the Constitution.

Ambiguity over collection

There is still ambiguity over collection of the entertainment tax. Punjab Cable Operators' Association has already demanded that the government should put its own collection mechanism in place. Many of the cable connections default on payments and there is also no clarity about the DTH connections, claim cable operators. - TOI