Tamil Nadu theatres remain shut over double taxation

Tamil Nadu Cinema Theatre Owners’ Federation president Abirami Ramanathan said they had no choice but to go on strike. He said they did not know of the double taxation until 5 pm on Friday, hours before the GST came into effect.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai | Published: July 5, 2017 6:44 am

Some 1,100 theatres across Tamil Nadu remained closed on Tuesday, the second day of an indefinite strike in protest against the imposition of 30 per cent entertainment tax over the 28 per cent GST. The strike continued as negotiations between theatre owners and the state government failed.

Tamil Nadu Cinema Theatre Owners’ Federation president Abirami Ramanathan said they had no choice but to go on strike. He said they did not know of the double taxation until 5 pm on Friday, hours before the GST came into effect. He insisted that there is no opposition from the film fraternity to the strike.

“It is simple: we cannot run a show under this double taxation system,” he said. “If we go by the present system, we will end up losing money on every ticket. There are over 10 lakh people dependent on this industry and we need to survive.”

Ramanathan said that other states had removed the entertainment tax because of GST implementation. He added that the additional entertainment tax will make film screening and distribution impossible.

Ramanathan said that they were waiting for a call from the government. “We had several rounds of talks. We are hoping for a positive decision,” said Ramanathan, adding that he couldn’t understand why the state took this decision.

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