EEMA Joins Hands With Delhi Govt To Ease Licensing For events
On September 23rd, the Delhi Govt approved the first online application for Entertainment Tax based on a post-event settlement, which is a major breakthrough for the events and entertainment industry. The approval was done online in a record time of two hours only, where previously the same could take several months.
In August this year, The Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) in collaboration with the Govt. of Delhi and the Police department of Delhi took several steps to simplify licensing for events and eliminate red tape and touts. A process was put into place whereby EEMA member companies can do ticketed events in the national capital without paying entertainment tax before the event. The first achievement in this direction is the online approval for the soon-to-be-held Zubin Mehta concert in Delhi.
The development entails a single-window approval system which is online for all non-ticketed events. Large ticketed events would make their way back to the capital with the announcement of a partnership between EEMA and the Delhi government that has led to an online approval system for ticketed events too with elimination of pre-payment of tax, pre-event stamping of tickets and blockage of funds for tax payments.
Commenting on the achievement, Sabbas Joseph, President EEMA and Founder Director Wizcraft International said “We are delighted to see our enduring efforts come to life and turn into reality. This is just one door open and still a major step ahead. Alongside the path breaking steps by the Delhi government, the Maharashtra Chief Minister Mr Devendra Fadnavis too has announced that venues would have pre-approved licenses and a single –window clearance system would be implemented shortly. We hope that the efforts of the CM s from Delhi and Maharashtra pave the way for similar moves across the country."
The first ticketed show under this new licensing regime would be a concert by maestro Zubin Mehta performing live in Delhi after 15 years. The approvals were given online in less than two hours on 23rd September 2015. Said an elated Michael Menezes, Managing Director of Showtime Events, who are producing the show, “I could not have imagined this speed of action in my wildest dreams! It seems the Commissioner means business and is determined to change the face of entertainment in Delhi”
For years, Delhi was starved of world-class live events due to antiquated tax rules and strangulating licensing norms. So all major live events either gave the Capital a miss altogether or preferred Gurgaon or Noida as locations for the event staging.
Earlier this year, The Delhi Government was forthcoming and eager to make Delhi India's event-friendly capital city. Following a detailed EEMA representation and persistent efforts, the Delhi government moved at a rapid pace in streamlining the licensing process in Delhi and yielding promising results for the event industry. The Delhi Govt. also appointed Mr Sanjay Kumar, Commissioner of Excise and Entertainment Tax, as the nodal officer for creation of the single-window licensing process, with an eye on ease-of-doing-business.
At a panel discussion held a few days ago, at the EEMAX GLOBAL Conclave in Mumbai, Mr Sanjay Kumar, proudly announced the new plan for single-window licensing which was online. He shared that post EEMA’s representation, the move was inevitable. We have streamlined the process for corporate and ticketed events and the clearance can be procured online from www.delhiexcise.gov.in
Added Rajeev Jain, Treasurer, EEMA and founder Rashi Entertainment, “The speed at which EEMA has achieved all this is really commendable. We welcome this move by the Entertainment tax department and government of Delhi for providing a boost to our industry. This move will definitely lead to the rise in the number of events in Delhi and increase revenue for the allied businesses such as hospitality and retail, making Delhi an event-friendly city."
The complimentary ticket scenario also got a thumbs down. Leading the way, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal publicly declared that no minister or MLA of his party will ever ask for free tickets to any event or movie.
The Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) is turning century-old practices on its head and changing how Governments think and look at the event industry. Similar efforts are underway by EEMA across other states with an aim to change the licensing landscape that govern the events business in India.