Indefinite closure by Cinema halls in TN enters third day

05 July,Chennai

The indefinite closure of theatres in Tamil Nadudemanding abolishment of 30 per cent entertainment tax levied on theatres, entered the third day Wednesday.

Over 1,000 cinema halls were shut down since Monday as the theatre owners said it would be difficult for them to do business following the roll out of GST under which 18 per cent tax was levied.

Representatives from the Film Chamber of Commerce met State Ministers and officials again today and demanded abolishment of the local taxes, besides rationalising the ticket prices which were fixed ten years back.

According to the GST roll out, theatres which sell tickets below Rs 100 should pay 18 per cent tax and theatres, especially multiplexes which sell tickets above Rs 100, should pay 28 per cent tax.

If 30 per cent local tax was added to this, theatre owners should pay over 50 per cent of the ticket rate as tax to the government.

The State government was not ready to forego the local tax because it feels that this was a major source of revenue for the local bodies.

Speaking at a promotional event here, Tamil Nadu Exhibitors Association President Abirami Ramanathan said ”we are still negotiating with the state government. We have put forth our demands.”

He said ”each day we are facing a loss of Rs 20 crore because of the strike and it’s better if this situation is resolved sooner. We have also put forth a request to increase the price cap of tickets to Rs 200”.

Exuding confidence of a solution by this evening, Ramanathan said the theatre owners would compensate for the losses suffered by distributors of films released on Friday last.

Meanwhile, four films, including ‘Ivan Thanthiran’, which were released on Friday, were hit by the strike.

Sources said movies, including ‘Vikram Vedha’ and ‘Pandigai’ slated to hit the screens on July seven this Friday have reportedly pulled out of the race because of the uncertainty prevailing in Kollywood.

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