Is Khullja Sim Sim doing a tain tain fissh on their celebrity guests? If one goes by what some of the recent guests had to say about the functioning of the show, then it just might be true.
Khullja Sim Sim (Star Plus), previously produced by Optimystix Entertainment, is now handled by BAG films.
The show is based on a popular game format, where the contestant stands to win big prizes like cars, television sets, refrigerators and travel junkets based on their luck and instincts. Hussain now anchors the show, which was earlier hosted by Aman Verma.
The show also invites television celebrities on their specials to take part in the game, with the same rules applicable as for the aam janta. However, recently, there has been a tiff between some celeb participants, regarding the format of the show.
Participants say they are being taxed unnecessarily on their prizes. The gifts are not free, and winners must shell out fat amounts in tax for them, and this has peeved many stars.
"There are no free gifts on the show as I thought. One has to pay almost half the amount of what you win in the end," said an actress from a popular daily.
When contacted, a spokesman for BAG said, "We go by the law. There is a gift tax levied by the state government. It is a known fact. For example if you win a cash prize around 25,000, we would charge a gift tax, in the range of 30 to 33%. Depending on the tax on that particular day we charge accordingly."
Refuting claims that the stars were not informed about the tax, he adds, "This is completely untrue. We explain the rules when we call them; the bit about the gift tax is also explained. There are no free gifts on the show. The rule is the same for everybody on the show."
Shailja Kejriwal, creative head, Star Plus said, "The actors' claims are complete rubbish. We have always gone by the book. I don't exactly remember what the legalities were with the previous production house, but now I know a gift tax exists, which needs to be paid."
Vipul D Shah, the previous producer of the show, says, "We paid the tax for celebrities. It was common sense not to charge these actors because they are such well-known faces. If I invite you for dinner, I obviously wouldn't ask you to pay up. It was a policy decision not to charge anyone for the gifts they won."
Stars who were on the show recently
1. Karisma Tanna (Indu of Kyunki)
I won a cash prize of Rs 25,000, but they gave me around 16,000 in hand. I was quite upset with them and made a scene about it. I thought it was unreasonable of them to not inform us about these rules.
2. Tassnim Sheikh (Mohini of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi)
I won a 29-inch TV and a trip to Goa. But when I realised I had to pay for the gift, I refused to claim it. Also, the Goa trip was a damp squib, as they told me I can go for it only in the off-season (during the monsoons). I think it's ridiculous to give these gifts and then set terms and conditions for them.
3. Shweta Tiwari (Prerna of Kasautii Zindagi Kay)
I have been on the show lots of times. It's true I didn't have to pay a single rupee before, but recently, I was asked to pay a certain amount for the gifts. I am not aware of the technical details, but I did win many prizes, like an AC and a fridge.
4. Kiran Karmarkar (Om of Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii)
I won a kitchen unit with an inbuilt chimney, but refused it; I would have to break my platform to install it.
5. Shilpa Saklani (Ganga of Kyunki)
I didn't win anything when I went recently. Previously, I won a Goa hamper, AC and other accessories. I didn't have to pay anything for them.
6. Sangeeta Ghosh (Pammi of Des Mein Nikkla Hoga Chand)
I won a Goa hamper recently and thought I would have to pay tax, but the channel called saying they would pay for it. But I have been too busy to keep track and claim it from them.