The Kerala Story’ will remain tax-free in Madhya Pradesh, says Mishra

The Kerala Story’ will remain tax-free in Madhya Pradesh, says Mishra

Last Updated on May 11, 2023, 4:54 pm by News Desk

Bhopal, May 11 (PTI) Amid a controversy over the Congress’ claim that the Madhya Pradesh government has withdrawn the tax exemption to the movie The Kerala Story’, state home minister and government spokesman Narottam Mishra on Thursday asserted that the film “was tax-free and will remain tax-free in the state”.

“There is no confusion on the issue. I request all cinema hall owners not to remain in any confusion. The Kerala Story’ film was made tax-free in the state and will remain tax-free in Madhya Pradesh. Therefore, they should not believe in any viral or fake order, as Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced it (making the film tax-free),” Mishra told reporters here.

The Madhya Pradesh Congress on Wednesday claimed the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government had rolled back its decision to give tax-free status to the controversial Bollywood film The Kerala Story’ in the state.

However, Central Circuit Cine Association (CCCA) director O P Goyal told PTI that no such order (about withdrawal of tax-free status) has been received by cinema hall owners in the state. He said that tickets for the film are being issued without charging entertainment tax on them.

CCCA is the sole representative of about 2,000 film distributors and exhibitors in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, MP and Rajasthan.

The movie, which depicts how women from Kerala were forced to convert to Islam and recruited by the terror group Islamic State (IS), was declared tax-free by the Madhya Pradesh government four days ago.

State Congress media cell chairman KK Mishra said as per rules, films with an ‘A’ certificate from the Censor Board cannot be exempted from entertainment tax. This was the reason why the state government has withdrawn tax exemption to ‘The Kerala Story’, he claimed.

Meanwhile, a report from Indore said Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha has targeted the chief minister for exempting the film with an A’ certificate from entertainment tax in Madhya Pradesh.

The Kerala Story’, directed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, has received an A’ certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification. This means the film can be watched by “Adults Only.”

The film has many violent and objectionable scenes, Tankha told reporters in Indore on Wednesday night. “How can you (the state government) give entertainment tax exemption to a film with A’ certificate and you are inviting children to watch it (in theatres),” he asked.

He said that Chouhan may not have seen the film and unknowingly made it tax-free. (SOURCE: PTI)

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