Chennai, Oct 4: The Tamil Nadu Film Producers Council on Wednesday said no new Tamil films will release on Friday onwards until the state government removes the additional 10 per cent tax over and above the GST.
Owing to uncertainty, no Tamil films will have a release starting from October 6. This decision comes unanimously by the council and several multiplexes in the state.
— Ramesh Bala (@rameshlaus) October 3, 2017
In a statement, President of the Producers Council Vishal said: “We will have a meeting today (Wednesday) to discuss the next course of action.
“No new Tamil films will release this week as we feel the additional 10 per cent Local Body Entertainment Tax (LBET) above the Goods and Services Tax will disable the industry.”
On Tuesday, the Multiplexes Association of India (MAI) directed multiplexes such as PVR and INOX here to shut shop against double taxation.
“All multiplexes operating in Chennai have announced that they are going on strike starting today (Wednesday),” read a statement from MAI.
According to the statement, the double taxation defeats the purpose of the GST model and goes against the principle of One Nation One Tax.
MAI President Deepak Asher appealed to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswani and Great Chennai Corporation (GCC) Commissioner to consider their request to withdraw the LBET levied on the film exhibition industry in Chennai immediately.
Vishal said they were ready to go on indefinite strike if the government did not consider their request.
“Various stakeholders have already explained their situation to the government. Unfortunately, 10 per cent tax has been levied without regulating the ticket prices.
“This will only increase the losses for the producers and pave way to more confusion,” Vishal added.
TPFC claims that they are already facing huge loss due to piracy and the GST of 18-28%. They also accuse the government of not scrutinising the act to regulate theater entry ticket price for years.
On September 29, the state government issued a circular claiming that 20% corporation tax would be levied on non-Tamil films and 10% tax on Tamil films. The local body entertainment tax would be along with the GST of 28%, which means the theater owners and producers would be shelling 38-48% as tax alone.
Though the film fraternity raised voice against it and threatened to go on a strike two months back, Finance Minister Jayakumar promised to sort out things back then.
Multiplexes in the city went on strike since yesterday as people visit multiplex mainly to watch non-Tamil films and their business was badly hit. With the 20% extra tax, they claim that it’s become an additional burden.
The LBET has caused a huge rift between the film fraternity and the state government.