Published: Tue, July 04, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners on Indefinite Strike over New Taxes Under GST

Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners on Indefinite Strike over New Taxes Under GST

Even after representation from theater owners, distributors and producers, The Tamil Nadu State Government has not relented in its stand of levying 30% tax apart from the GST on movie tickets across the state.

FCC president Abirami Ramanathan said that all the movie halls will remain closed indefinitely till the government clarifies on the tax burden on theatre owners under GST.

A team comprising of Vishal, representatives of theatre owners association and others met Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at the Secretariat in Chennai to press for the revocation of the 30% entertainment tax.

After the implementation of GST on July 1, 2017, there had been many people supporting and also opposing the move or step taken by the Narendra Modi government. Then there is 28 per cent GST becomes above this making it Rs 167 per ticket.

Ramanathan, who also heads the Tamil Film Chamber of Commerce, said that the reason behind this decision it the inability to pay taxes, adding that they are not against the government. On Saturday that is on July 1st, Tamil Nadu film community along with the South Indian industries, sent a notification to the Central Government, requesting to put the regional cinemas in the "least slab". That meant almost 80-90% of the Tamil films released per year would enjoy these benefits.

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"If we screen movies, we have to pay local body taxes immediately as it came into force from yesterday".

"They announced the strike without prior notice", he said and wondered, "How will I pay back loans I took to make this film?"

The "Dasavatharam" actor said Tamil Nadu has left Bihar behind in corruption.

" It won't be feasible for us as it will affect the livelihood of over 10 lakh families associated with the industry", Ramanathan said. "It is the money spinning business so we are being used", said Venkat Shuba, executive producer in Tamil film industry. This 58% tax composes of GST tax of 28% and 30%tax which is imposed by municipal cooperation.

"They sought withdrawal (of local body tax). You can not bring a Monoculture into a country like India", Kamal Haasan said. "Under the GST, the administration charge is 18 percent and the partnership charge is 30 percent which aggregates to an incredible 48 percent of the expense".

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