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Service tax issue: Ambika Soni offers to take film delegation to Pranab
February, 17th 2012

With the film industry announcing that it will go on a strike on February 23 against imposition of service tax, the government expressed concern over the increased burden with I&B minister Ambika Soni offering to take up the issue with the finance minister.

"There has been some talk about a strike... Filmmakers have heard that in the next budget there would be a 10% or so service tax. They don't want that and are very apprehensive so I have told them that we can all go together to meet the finance minister," Soni said. She added that the ministry was concerned about the film industry and would extend all the help it can.

However, she said keeping in mind some of the big government sponsored schemes, the compulsions of the finance minister also had to be understood by the film industry. "But we on our part have to understand the compulsions of the finance minister because he has been speaking in recent days about the load of welfare measures that the UPA government has taken up in such a big manner," Soni said.

Listing welfare measures like MGNREGA, Right to Food and Right to Education, she said, "Considering all that, the finance minister's position is also very tight but I have offered that the I&B ministry will team up with the film industry and go to the finance minister."

Soni said the film industry was upset and as a minister she was concerned and was willing to make efforts but could not stop anyone from going on a strike.

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