A day ahead of the rollout of GST, the Tamil Nadu Theatres Association has announced an indefinite shutdown across the state from Monday. Close to 800 theatres will not be screening films as they protest over the addition of local body taxes to their existing tax rates.
The Tamil film fraternity has already been in turmoil ever since the Goods and Service Tax (GST) was announced by the Central government. The GST will kick in on the midnight of June 30. The union government replaced the entertainment and service tax with 28% GST on movies, causing ticket rates to possibly soar over Rs.150.
What has irked Tamil Nadu Theatres Association is that local bodies want to levy 30% municipal tax in addition to GST.
"We have announced indefinite strike from Monday because the local body has added 30 percent municipal tax which will make the total tax to come up to 60 percent," says Panneerselvam, General Secretary, Tamil Nadu Theatre Association. "About 800 theatres are part of the association and we will all be shut from Monday till the local body does not take back this government order," he adds.
This could prove to be a major setback for films which have released in this week and have been scheduled for release in July. "The release of all the films will be postponed and the films which released this Friday will not be running from Monday onwards," the General secretary told TNM.
He further pointed out that states like Kerala and Telangana had refrained from charging additional taxes and demanded that the Tamil Nadu Government do the same.