Union Budget 2017:  Bollywood feels left out, again!

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget today but Bollywood didn't seem pleased because he neglected the entertainment sector

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today presented the Union Budget for the fourth time, in which he defended the demonetisation move of the government. All eyes were set on the FM today as it was the first budget after the Union government scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1000 in November last year. Presenting the budget, Arun Jaitley said that demonetisation will not affect the growth of India and stated that the country is in a bright spot.

In the budget, Arun Jaitley put a cap on cash donations to political parties from a single source to Rs 2000. He announced that parties would be entitled to receive donations in form of cheque and digital payments only. In what may be seen as a step to push India towards a digital economy, the FM announced that railway tickets would be cheaper if booked online, as there will be no service tax charged.

Arun Jaitley told about the proposal given by SIT to have no transaction above Rs 3 lakhs in cash and that the government accepted it. The Finance Minister announced the setting up of a National Testing Agency that would conduct entrance exams for higher education. He announced that the income tax rate will be cut to 5 per cent for individuals having income between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh.

For the safety of rail passengers, the Finance Minister allocated a fund of Rs 1 lakh crore over the next five years. He added that transformative measures will be taken to make Indian railways competitive.

Also read: Union Budget 2017: Bollywood distributors and producers seek desperate help from govt to ‘survive’

But amid all the promises the Finance Minister made, Bollywood felt left out. Members of the film fraternity expressed their displeasure and said that the film industry was neglected. It should be noted that this is not the first time they felt so. Last year too, celebrities including Dia Mirza and Divya Dutta felt the entertainment sector wasn’t given attention.

Also read: Union Budget 2017: FM Jaitley announces new incentives to promote BHIM app

And it seems, that this year too the reactions are pretty similar. Here is what Mukesh Bhatt and Kunal Kohli told a leading daily after the budget.

Kunal Kohli:

I feel members of the film fraternity, who are in the government, should be representing us and they need to put our point across to the government for them to look at. The film industry is in the limelight and is a great source of providing revenue and generating jobs.

Mukesh Bhatt:

The Finance Minister did not even mention the film industry in his budget. They feel like we do not exist. They didn’t even touch upon piracy which is impacting us in such a big way and also in turn affecting the government’s revenue. We are saddened!

Vishal Dadlani tweeted: