dglobalnews.com Theatres Cancel Screenings in Tamil Nadu Against 30% Local Tax
Published: Tue, July 04, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

Theatres Cancel Screenings in Tamil Nadu Against 30% Local Tax

Theatres Cancel Screenings in Tamil Nadu Against 30% Local Tax

The theatre owners have called for the bandh after the state government failed to scrap 30 percent entertainment tax following the implementation of GST from July 1.

"We're not fighting anybody, we're only requesting the government, as we've done earlier as well, to allow some flexibility in prices apart from removing the entertainment tax in addition to GST", said Rakesh Gowthaman, managing director of Vettri Theatres in Chennai.

Industry heavyweights met with the state's chief minister late Monday, but discussions reached an impasse, and theaters announced they would keep their doors closed until the next meeting with Tamil Nadu's government.

Although the strike was to start from Monday, many cinema halls did not open for business even yesterday, Ramanathan said while talking to the reporters. Then there is 28 per cent GST becomes above this making it Rs 167 per ticket. Tamil Nadu's film fraternity has criticized the state government for failing to withdraw additional taxes, as other states, including neighboring Kerala, have done. This is in addition to the GST rates. He feels something have to be done to producers who had released their films last Friday.

"The theatres have to pay a 30% tax to the local body". This 58% tax composes of GST tax of 28% and 30%tax which is imposed by municipal cooperation.

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Many film industry celebrities have voiced against the huge tax levy and also termed it '"double taxation" on films.

" It won't be feasible for us as it will affect the livelihood of over 10 lakh families associated with the industry", Ramanathan said. In Tamil Nadu, tickets for single screens and multiplexes are capped at Rs50 and Rs120 respectively.

Though Tamil Film Producers Council President Vishal has been trying his best to smoothly resolve the situation, the theatre owners have been unwilling to compromise. Thousands of textile traders around the country are on strike to protest new charges under GST.

"They sought withdrawal (of local body tax)".

"We cannot increase prices for big ticket movies", he said, adding they could not lower it for small budget movies either. "You can not bring a Monoculture into a country like India", Kamal Haasan said.

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