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Maharashtra May Levy 25% Entertainment Tax On CRBT, CyberCafes

An entertainment tax of 25% may be levied on caller ringback tones in the state of Maharashtra, reports PTI, quoting a government executive. Because. It’s. For. Entertainment.

By that logic, just about all music related services from the telecom operators to subscribers – Mobile Radio, Pre-tones, CRBT – would be subject to tax. At present, revenue earned from CRBTs is subject to a 6% license fee paid to the government on the telecom operators annual gross revenue. Additionally – correct me if I’m wrong – but VAS companies pay service tax on CRBT as well. An additional 25% entertainment tax for telecom operators to pay would be end up significantly reducing margins, and hence impact revenue share for all – VAS companies and content owners.

What is perhaps more incredible, is that the same entertainment tax is being considered for Cybercafe’s which are used for surfing the interwebs, ticketing, checking email, gaming…because of the “popularity” of cyber cafes. This, in a country where real estate costs and police harassment are pushing cybercafes out of business.

Related:
Sify Prepares For Decline Of Cybercafes With VAS; $3.23 Million Loss
Reasons For The Declining Growth of Cybercafes In India
Privacy Be Damned, Mumbai Cybercafes To Log Keystrokes

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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