1000 movie theatres in southern India go on indefinite strike over tax

Posted July 04, 2017

The exhibitors are facing the heat after Goods and Service Tax (GST) was rolled out even as the state government failed to abolish the local taxes.

Ramanathan, who had met Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on July 1 and submitted a memorandum to him in this regard, today met Finance Minister D. Jayakumar and urged him to take steps to abolish the municipal tax on cinema theatres as it poses a heavy burden on them in view of the GST roll out.

Following the government's announcement to levy 30 per cent of entertainment tax over the GST rate of 28 per cent, the chamber made a decision to shut down theatres in protest.

Hope the acclaimed director's fervent appeal achieve its goal and the Tamil film industry is saved.

Earlier, TNTODA President Abhirami Ramanathan made it clear that they were against the local body levy.

Effects of GST shows in Tamil Nadu where the 1000 cinema houses have canceled screenings. Be that as it may, GST will make India a typical market with basic expense rates and methods and evacuate monetary boundaries. But industry experts say that the actual tax incidence works out to be more expensive.

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"We cannot increase prices for big ticket movies", he said, adding they could not lower it for small budget movies either. It becomes Rs 130 if the 30 per cent local body tax is added.

As according to Ramanathan "The local body tax of 30 percent is in addition to the GST tax rate of 28 percent (for tickets over Rs. 100) and 18 percent (for tickets priced less than Rs. 100)". We can not increase prices for big ticket movies. It is unviable so we have no choice but should close down the business. The film was released just three days ago and the opening week plays a major role in recovering the investment. The loss incurred to the films because of this confusion is yet to be estimated.

Indefinite strike over GST: Nearly 1,100 theaters in and around Tamil Nadu are on indefinite strike over GST.

Meanwhile theatre owners association and producers council members are trying to meet state government ministers and officials to sort out the issue. Interestingly, KCP Palanisamy of the AIADMK agreed to the view saying, "Yes the black money is with movie industry and politicians".

The film industry is particularly unhappy because neighbouring states of Kerala, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh waived it off.

Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan said the industry would speak with "one voice" on the decision.