2013 Union Budget is one of the most anticipated budgets in the history of Indian economy. Tax payers wait with bated breath as the Finance Minister dauntingly presents to you, your monetary fate for the year. While India demands for a more responsible budget, the Finance Minister is faced with a multitude of issues – growth enhancement, containing the fiscal deficit and mostly formulating a more sustainable method of addressing unemployment, poverty and the demand for greater jobs. Budget 2013 is crucial for the Government to create a sturdy platform to pave way for a better economy that would help them improve their sinking impression – their last shot at it before the 2014 General Elections.

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While these are the major causes of the aam aadmi, Bollywood has its own set of expectations from the Budget. One of the primary issues is the issue of Service Tax on the Entertainment Industry which is cause of worry to all important film makers. In order to combat the mistakes of earlier populist pro-poor budgets, the easiest way will be to recover taxes aggressively, which might turn out to be an issue for Bollywood.

Mahesh Bhatt and Farah Khan
Mahesh Bhatt and Farah Khan

Important film makers have put forward their opinion and expectations from the Budget this year. Bollywood which has given 100 years of huge profits to the Indian economy is faced with the high service taxes and entertainment taxes which end up increasing the cost of films itself. While Mahesh Bhatt hopes that service tax issue is resolved, film maker Farah Khan almost fervently prays that 2013 Budget has some considerable reduction of these taxes.

The television fraternity unanimously demands laws and taxes that generally foster growth of the industry in totality. They expect 2013 Union Budget to have special benefits and rebates for the Television Industry which generates high revenue for the Government. They specifically point out that personal growth must be valued in the budget, and no section of it must hinder it.

Many producers have condemned the service taxes on Entertainment industry and demand it to be reduced considerably. It has been calculated that the present rates of service taxes increases the cost of the film by 12.36% which becomes a burden on the producers and distributors, adding a greater pressure on film to perform well in order to raise back the cost input on the film.

Many celebrities resorted to Twitter in order to express their opinion of Budget 2013.

An annoyed Pritish Nandy(filmmaker and former MP) tweeted this morning, “Lets wait and watch if the Govt imposes tax on the air we breathe this year… Pretty much everything else is covered.” He almost simply states his expectations, “Everyone has requests for the FM. Mine is simple: A 1 page tax form I can fill in myself. And taxes I can pay without wanting to run away.”

Screenplay writer and best selling author Chetan Bhagat tweeted, “A poor man’s budget, no matter how well presented or analyzed, will still remain a poor man’s budget.” He added, “I will consider the govt is doing a good job with the budget when budget day is just not as important anymore.”

Gul Panag, known for her fiery outspoken nature tweeted, “Will our FM be practical, prudent or spectacular? I think he will be all three! Take a bet!”

We can expect a greater round of comments about the Union Budget this year by today evening. An important bone of discontentment has been prodded on yet again. The much criticized and shameful Delhi Gang Rape Case found a special mention in the Budget as the Government allocated 1000 crore Rupees to the Nirbhaya Fund in order to ensure greater security for women. While it looks like a kind attempt on the Government’s part, it might incur widespread criticism from the verbal section of Bollywood celebrities. To many it might sound like a cruel joke, splurging crores on women’s security in a country where every woman (no matter what her age is) has at some point or other been a victim of eve teasing or have suffered traces of a general lower attitude towards women.

Keep Checking out Koimoi as we bring to you live reactions from Bollywood on Union Budget 2013.

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