After theatre owners threatened to stop screening movies in cinema halls from July 1 over the levying of local body taxes in addition to GST, the Government has intervened in the matter. Tamil Nadu Finance Minister D Jayakumar has said that Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami will decide on whether the state should exempt or levy the 30% entertainment tax along with GST on cinema theatres in the state.
A day ahead of the rollout of GST, the Tamil Nadu Theatres association announced an indefinite shutdown across the state. They said that close to 800 theatres will not be screening films from July 1 in protest against the dual taxation. The GST council had decided on two rates for movie tickets - 28 per cent for tickets costing over Rs.100 and 18 per cent for tickets priced below Rs.100.
In addition to this the state Government was to levy 30 percent entertainment tax. Theatre owners were aghast over the taxation that will come up to close to 60%. But the state government reportedly took the move to help provide revenues for bodies where the films are screened.
According to TNIE, the Finance Minister held a meeting with theatre owners on Saturday and they are now confident about resolving the issue.
Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners' Association President Abirami Ramanathan told Express that, "We will be holding a meeting with theatre owners across the State from Chennai to Kanniyakumari at 11.30 am on July 2. A decision will be taken in this regard by 12.30 pm and we will convey it to the media."
At the current rates that theatres are required to pay, if a ticket is priced at Rs.100, over half of it will be paid as local body tax and GST.