As GST releases, its curtains at Tamil Nadu theatres

Mixed response to GST in TN Sivakasi fireworks units shut shopMore

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Film Producers' Council has requested theatre owners to reconsider their decision to close down the cinemas considering the welfare of film producers. The Tamil Nadu theatre owners said the state government has failed to do away with entertainment tax, as done in Kerala, since GST came into force.

To a question, he said an additional levy of about eight per cent under GST over 30 per cent local body tax had pushed the total taxes to over 60 per cent.

The theatre owners have demanded the removal of the local body tax, which would automatically fix the additional levy, stressing that the livelihood of about 10 lakh people depends on the film industry.

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.

On the other hand, film producers were disheartened with the strike which affected around ten films released during the past two weeks.

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The strikes are likely to have a huge impact on Tamil Nadu's Kollywood, among the most popular of India's regional film industries. Now, the dual taxation with a cap on movie tickets means 48-58 percent of a film's revenue will be collected as taxes leaving peanuts for the distributors and exhibitors.

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)". Above it, the Tamil Nadu government has 30 percent entertainment tax. This is in addition to the 28 per cent GST.

The indefinite theatre shutdown has proved to be dismal for the films that released this Friday, while casting a shadow over the success of upcoming releases. This will imply curtains in theaters for almost 10 movies released two weeks back at least for now.

Abirami Ramanathan, president of the Tamil Nadu Cinema Theater Owners Federation, told the Press Trust of India: "We welcome GST. You can not bring a Monoculture into a country like India", Kamal Haasan said. It also warned of "stern action" against those charging rates beyond the stipulated GST.

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