GST Levy: Indefinite Shutdown of Cinema Theatres in TN Begins
04 July, 2017, 00:47 | Author: Ora Austin
Film goers in Tamil Nadu were deprived of their entertainment as over 1,000 cinema halls across the state commenced an indefinite strike today seeking withdrawal of 30 per cent local body tax being levied in addition to GST.
As the goods and services tax (GST), India's biggest tax reform, was launched on July 1, the state government slipped in a 30% corporation tax on ticket sales.
The GST is fixed at 18% for tickets priced up to Rs 100 and 28% for tickets priced above Rs 100.
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.
Vishal, president of Tamil Nadu's Film Producers Council, said that the GST will greatly impact the film industry because it has put regional cinema and Hollywood movies in the same highest slab of 28%. "The problem is with the 30% entertainment tax already being slapped by the local bodies, which takes the cumulative tax to 58%". Be that as it may, GST will make India a typical market with basic expense rates and methods and evacuate monetary boundaries.
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He said the government "surreptitiously issued the GO on Friday evening to prevent us from going to court", and said he has sought the withdrawal of the 30% Entertainment Tax.
It is not just the film industry that is under stress in the southern state. But industry experts say that the actual tax incidence works out to be more expensive. This will imply curtains in theaters for almost 10 movies released two weeks back at least for now.
"We are not against the government".
According to PTI, Ramanathan said, "We welcome GST". Ten Tamil films that were released in the past two weeks in the state will not be screened as a result of the strike, suffering a major loss in revenues. "We welcome it", Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners and Distributors Association President Abhirami Ramanathan told the media.
Actor Kasthuri Shankar said both the film industry and people are affected by the tax. It also warned of "stern action" against those charging rates beyond the stipulated GST. The theatre owners asserted that they are unable to cope with the huge tax burden.
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