Theatres shut down in Tamil Nadu over double taxation

Theatres shut down in Tamil Nadu over double taxation

More than 1,000 movie theatres, including multiplexes in Tamil Nadu, downed their shutters on Monday in response to an indefinite strike call by the state's Film Chamber of Commerce (FCC) in protest against the heavy tax levy under Goods and Services Tax (GST). Under the new assessment administration, expenses of 28 percent and 18 percent will be demanded tickets costing over and under Rs.100 individually, notwithstanding a metropolitan duty of 30 percent forced by the state government on theatres.

Going ahead with their strike announced on Friday, the exhibitors knocked at the doors of Chief Minister K Palaniswami seeking a review of a 30 per cent Entertainment tax, charged by the city corporation, citing their "inability" to pay both taxes.

He urged the government to immediately scrap the local body tax of 30 per cent, saying such a move would automatically take away the additional levy of eight per cent under GST.

Around 10 lakh individual earn their livelihood from the film business in Tamil Nadu.

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The reason behind the cancellation of screenings is that there is imposed 30 percent local body tax apart from additional tariffs under the new GST plan. This is in addition to the GST rates (of upto 28 per cent). Collectively our industry has been floundering for many years. This will imply curtains in theaters for almost 10 movies released two weeks back at least for now. "My film has just entered second week of successful run and when things finally started to look good, this announcement took everybody by surprise", Vijay said. "We are hoping that the state government will roll back the entertainment tax today" stated the president of producer council.

Ramanathan, on the other hand, said, "We have heard the pleas of the affected producers". In Tamil Nadu, tickets for single screens and multiplexes are capped at Rs50 and Rs120 respectively. The GST is charged over and aboce the entertainment tax.

On Sunday Tamil Films Producers Council president Vishal, on behalf of the effected producers asked the theater owners to cancel or differ the strike at least by a weak.

Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan said the industry would speak with "one voice" on the decision. The theatre owners asserted that they are unable to cope with the huge tax burden.

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