The Assam Assembly on Saturday passed the Assam Amusements and Betting Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2016, reducing the service charge of cinema tickets with an aim to give a fillip to the local film industry.

The government, however, raised the entertainment tax on cinema tickets by up to ten percentile points, which may make a dent on movie goers’ pockets.

The new Bill proposes to fix the service charge at a maximum of Rs.12 per ticket, which is as high as Rs. 40 at present.

The government proposed to make service charge Rs.8 per ticket for the halls without air conditioning system and Rs.12 for the halls with air conditioning system with back-up generator.

However, there will be no service charge at all if the payment for admission is Rs. 5 or less.

The Bill also raised the government tax to 30 per cent on service charge from the existing 20 per cent.

The government also proposed to increase the entertainment tax to 20 per cent from 15 per cent at present for entry charges between Rs. 5 and Rs. 20 per ticket. The Bill said it will be 30 per cent compared to 20 per cent in case the admission charge is more than Rs. 20 and there will be no entertainment tax if the entry charge is Rs. 5 or less.

Besides, a cess at Re 1 will be levied on each ticket for creating a welfare fund for film and theatre sectors – Silpee Aru Kalakushali Kalyan Nidhi.