Filmmakers criticize Tamil Nadu Theatres shutdown over GST

The government announced to levy 30% of entertainment tax in place of 28% according to GST. The Chamber decided to shut down the theatres in protest.
tamil nadu cinema shut down over GST
India TV Entertainment Desk New Delhi 02 Jul 2017, 03:48 PM IST

Tamil Nadu Film Chamber of Commerce indefinitely shut down the theatres across the state from July 3rd following double taxation under the new GST regime which was implied post 1st July. Filmmakers on the other hand have slammed the theatres and have urged the chamber to take their decision back. The government announced to levy 30% of entertainment tax in place of 28% according to GST. The Chamber decided to shut down the theatres in protest. 

Actor Vishal Krishna, President of the Tamil Film Producers' Council, said he has appealed to the chamber to defer its decision.

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"The critical decision was taken (by the chamber) without the consent of other organisations. In fact, we were not even informed and their move came as a shocker. We have urged them to revoke their decision and give us time to discuss the taxation issue with the government," Vishal told IANS.

On Friday, Abirami Ramanathan, President of the Tamil Nadu Film Chamber of Commerce, said the government should fall in line with other southern states' tax slab.While a Rs 100 ticket in the neighbouring states (Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka) would cost Rs 118 in the other states post-GST, it would cost Rs 148 in Tamil Nadu, thanks to the government's additional 30 per cent state tax on the ticket.

Filmmakers R. Kannan and Vijay are opposed to the decision to shut down theatres.Kannan's latest Tamil directorial "Ivan Thanthiran" hit the screens on June 30. The ban would "kill my film", he says.

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"I have borrowed money and produced 'Ivan Thanthiran'. How am I going to repay if theatres are closed? This is like killing a newborn. My film has just released and this move will kill my film. I really don't know what I should do now," Kannan told IANS.

He has urged the Tamil Nadu Film Director's Association to intervene in the matter.

"I request to my peers in the association to look into this matter. I'm helpless and I really need a miracle," he said.

Filmmaker Vijay, whose Tamil drama "Vanamagan" is in its second week in cinemas, has a similar plea.

"While I agree with the chamber's concern over double taxation, they also need to take into consideration the fate of films that are currently running in cinemas. My film has just entered second week of successful run and when things finally started to look good, this announcement took everybody by surprise," Vijay said. 

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is India's biggest tax reform since Independence. The reform was rolled out past midnight on Friday in the precincts of the hallowed Central Hall of Parliament to usher in a new indirect tax regime.

(With IANS Inputs) 

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