Uproar over 30% tax on TN cinema theatres

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Around 1,000 cinema houses in the state of Tamil Nadu have started to cancel screenings in protest against the imposition of 30% local body tax that they are asked to pay over and above the prescribed goods and services tax (GST). It subsumed entertainment tax as well, so the Tamil Nadu government rechristened it as corporation tax.

According to the GST roll-out, theatres which sell tickets below Rs 100 should pay 18 per cent tax and theatres, especially multiplexes, which sell tickets above Rs 100, should pay 28 per cent tax.

Opposing the move of the Tamil Nadu Film Chamber of Commerce to indefinitely shut down theatres across the state from July 3 following double taxation under the GST regime, filmmakers here have urged the chamber to revoke its decision.

More than one thousand cinema halls are shut in Tamil Nadu. He said action will also be taken if additional rates were charged for commodities exempted from the GST.

Going to the movies is such an important part of public life in Tamil Nadu that, for many years, the state's political elite have been alumni of its hugely popular film industry. In Tamil Nadu, tickets for single screens and multiplexes are capped at Rs50 and Rs120 respectively.

DMK working president M K Stalin had said his party has been maintaining that traders should be given time to switch over to GST and talks must be held with them.

It is not just the film industry that is under stress in the southern state.

Meanwhile theatre owners association and producers council members are trying to meet state government ministers and officials to sort out the issue.

Earlier, TNTODA President Abhirami Ramanathan made it clear that they were against the local body levy. This will imply curtains in theaters for almost 10 movies released two weeks back at least for now. We are not against the GST. "You can not bring a Monoculture into a country like India", Kamal Haasan said.

The GST subsumes the entertainment tax unless it is levied by local bodies.

Mumbai: While the implementation of GST has affected multiple sectors across consumer strata, the entertainment industry has been bearing the brunt as well, with a staggering 30% taxation forced onto it.