Jan 11, Colombo: According to a decision made by the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa following a request made by the film industry to grant relief for a period of two years in order to protect the local film industry in the face of COVID-19, the relevant Ministries today have granted approval to exempt the film industry from the entertainment tax for a period of two years.
Secretary to the Ministry of Public Service, Provincial Councils and Local Government JJ Ratnasiri and Prof. Kapila Gunawardena, Secretary to the Ministry of Buddhasasana Religious and Cultural Affairs have given their approval for this today.
Accordingly, for the period 2021-2022, the film industry will be exempted from entertainment tax covering the entire island. It also approved a reduction in the entertainment tax on the film industry to 7.5 percent from 2023.
Up to now, the entertainment tax has been levied by local authorities across the country at various rates ranging from 5 percent to 25 percent. With this new approval, one entertainment tax will be introduced for the whole country.
Many artists representing the Local Filmmakers’ Alliance, the Sri Lanka Film Directors’ Association, the Sri Lanka Film Exhibitors’ Association and the Sri Lanka Film Producers’ Forum met the Prime Minister on the 8th January and pointed out that the film industry is in a very precarious situation in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
Among their main requests was the removal of the entertainment tax. Accordingly, this approval was given today in accordance with the decision of the Prime Minister.