The ongoing strike by cinema theatres in Tamil Nadu opposing imposition of 30 per cent local body tax today once again echoed in the assembly with opposition parties expressing concern over the fate of scores of workers dependent on the industry for livelihood.
Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin, who raised the issue, said imposing of the local body tax amounted to double taxation since the GST has been rolled out. The government, however, said it is committed to solve the impasse with Local Administration Minister S P Velumani and informed the House that another round of talks was scheduled in the day between the government and cinema industry representatives. He also denied Stalin’s contention that there was double taxation since local body tax was already invoked and that it was not a new tax. “The Chief Minister, after due consideration, will take a good decision on this matter”, Velumani said.
Chief Minister K Palanisami had already met Tamil cinema industry representatives on Monday, he said. Earlier Stalin said cinema industry and scores of workers were concerned over the shut down of theatres since Monday and recalled that his party-led government had in the past reduced the entertainment tax to benefit the cinema industry.
Citing Kerala’s decision to do away with entertainment tax following the rollout of the GST, he demanded that Tamil Nadu follow suit and take a policy decision in this regard. Opposition Congress members also spoke on the matter.