In light of the theatre strike across the state, Tamil Nadu opposition leaders on Tuesday raised the issue of local body tax on film tickets in addition to GST in the Legislative Assembly. The government in response said it was working on a solution.
DMK Deputy Leader Durai Murugan said more than 1,000 cinema theatres remained shut across the state since yesterday, in protest of the 30 per cent local body tax. “They (cinema industry representatives) had met the Chief Minister (K Palaniswami) yesterday but still theatres are shut. Why?” he asked. Congress Legislature Party leader K R Ramasamy also raised the issue.
Responding, Municipal Administration Minister S P Velumani assured that the government would give due consideration to problems of all sections of people. He recalled the meeting of industry representatives with Palaniswami yesterday and said the Chief Minister was trying to find a way out on this issue.
“Talks are going on,” the Minister added.
Going ahead with their strike announced on June 30 on the eve of GST rollout, the exhibitors have shut their halls since yesterday citing their ‘inability’ to pay both taxes.
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.
“We are against the Corporation (entertainment) Tax which is 30 per cent. This is in addition to the GST rates (of upto 28 per cent). We are not against the GST. We welcome it,” Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners and Distributors Association President Abhirami Ramanathan had said yesterday.
Representatives of the association and others, including South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce, South Indian Artistes’ Association (SIAA) and Tamil Film Producers Council, had met the Chief Minister over the tax issue.
They had also called on state Finance Minister D Jayakumar, who had assured them that the government was with them and the matter required a decision at policy level.