UP makes 30 films tax free in four years

Lucknow, March 1 (IANS) It has been a windfall of sorts for Bollywood films in Uttar Pradesh in the last four years of Samajwadi Party (SP) rule. This, as 29 films have been given a tax free status in the state by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav between March 2012 and February 24, 2016, according to a response by the state government to an RTI filed by activist Nutan Thakur.

Arvind Singh, public information officer of the Institutional Finance Department, while informing of the number of films that were given the tax free tag, detailed the films that were made tax free in the last four years.

Beginning with “Gattu” in March 2012, other films that have been made tax-free in Uttar Pradesh include “Krishna aur Kans”, “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, “Two Little Indians”, “Dedh Ishqiya”, “Jai Ho”, “Ya Rab”, “Bhoothnath Returns”, “Mardaani”, “Mary Kom”, “Katiyabaaz”, “Chaar Sahibzaade”, “PK”, “Tevar”, “Hawaizaada”, “Jai Ho Democracy”, Hamari Adhuri Kahani”, “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”, “Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho”, “Ishq Ke Parindey”, “Jaanisaar”, “Masaan”, “Drishyam”, “Manjhi – The Mountain Man”, “Once Upon A Time In Bihar”, “Chalk N Duster”, “Bajirao Mastani”, “Airlift” and “Saala Khadoos”.

Also, the recently released “Neerja”, biopic on late Neerja Bhanot, a flight attendant who was killed while she was saving the lives of passengers on a hijacked plane, has been made tax free.

While officials say that the films were given tax free status due to various considerations — like being shot in the state and delivering a social message — the opposition and the petitioner have alleged that chief minister Akhilesh Yadav decided arbitrarily in many cases and benefited his friends in the film fraternity by this benevolence.

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