Lahore - The Lahore High Court on Wednesday ordered to collect entertainment tax from all cinemas houses, directing the Excise and Taxation Department to implement the order in six weeks.

The court made the order in a case pertaining to the non collection of entertainment tax from the cinemas houses.

Petitioner Muhammad Husnain through Usman Khalil Advocate filed a petition in the LHC against Excise and Taxation Department.

The petitioner pleaded that Excise department in order to support its favorites persons, the department has put at stake even the national exchequer as it didn’t collect entertainment tax from cinemas after even 765 days.

Under Entertainment Tax 1958 Act, the department is bound to receive entertainment tax from every cinema house daily, he said. He added that the national exchequer was facing deficit of millions of rupees annually because of non-collection of entertainment tax. Petitioner further said that money obtained through exhibition of Indian films is going to  India without tax deduction. Non-collection of tax without any exemption is a criminal negligence of the department. The petitioner said neglecting law in place deliberately is a crime.

The petitioner pleaded that corruption has been made by giving tax exemption to the taxpayers intentionally thus the department be ordered to receive entertainment tax from all the cinema houses forthwith besides taking action against those found responsible.

The court while hearing the arguments of the petitioner ordered the Excise and Taxation Department for implementation of law within 6 weeks besides collecting entertainment tax from cinema houses.

The entertainments duty, administered under the Punjab Entertainments Duty Act/Rules 1958, is levied on admission to any entertainment. As per the act, entertainment includes “any exhibition, performance, amusement or horse-racing to which persons are admitted at payment”.

The rate of duty varies according to the class/type of entertainment which details are given below

Taxes on entertainment are levied as following:    20pc of the admission charged on any exhibition, performance, amusement, game or sport; 20pc of the payment for admission to stage dramas and theatres; and 20pc of the payment for admission to horse racing. However, 10pc entertainment duty is levied as government share on the amounts share-cum-prize tickets recovered on accounts maintained through Totalizator installed in the Lahore Race Club.