GST Levy: Indefinite Shutdown of Cinema Theatres in TN Begins

Posted July 04, 2017

He added that the decision has been taken by around 1,000 cinema halls.

Tamil Nadu is the only state in the country that has imposed a separate tax in addition to GST, and the total tax now comes to 68%, leaving only 32% for theatre owners, who are already facing extinction in a fiercely competitive and TV-dominated cinem industry. And on each local body tax, we have to pay an additional 8% GST.

However, unlike Tamil Nadu, no other south Indian state government has imposed a local tax in addition to GST yet.

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. Abirami Ramanathan, president of the exhibitors association, admitted they had asked Tamil Nadu finance minister D. Jayakumar to explore the possibility of an increase in ticket rates. Director R Kannan of this movie tweeted "They announced the strike without prior notice, how will I pay back loans I took to make this film?"

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Vishal the Tamil Film Producers Council chief said that though the timing of the strike is wrong, he will support it for the sake of Tamil film industry.

"We are not against the government".

Tamil movie star Rajnikanth has a following so vast that companies have been known to give their employees a day off on the release dates of his newest films, to avoid huge numbers of leave requests.

Besides the local tax, a GST of 18 per cent has been fixed for tickets priced below Rs 100 and 28 per cent for those above Rs 100.

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Earlier, TNTODA President Abhirami Ramanathan made it clear that they were against the local body levy. This would mean that at least 58% of a movie ticket will have to paid as tax. We are not against the GST.

Until the GST came into effect from 1 July, the entertainment tax was 30% in big cities such as Chennai and 20% for the rest of the state. "You can not bring a Monoculture into a country like India", Kamal Haasan said.

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.

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