As many as 1,100 theaters across Tamil Nadu remained shut after the owners called for an indefinite strike to protest the state’s imposition of a 30% entertainment tax in addition to the 28% Goods and Sevices Tax (GST). This effectively means that the 10 films that released in the state in the last two weeks will be severely affected.
The Tamil Nadu Theatres Association had announced an indefinite shutdown across the state a day before the rollout of the GST. Even last-minute talks by producers to resolve the issue on Sunday did not materialise. Tamil Nadu Cinema Theatre Owners Federation president Abirami Ramanathan on Sunday asserted that the theater hall owners would go ahead with the strike.
The Tamil film fraternity has already been in turmoil ever since the Goods and Service Tax (GST) was announced by the Central government. GST came into effect on 1 July. The union government replaced the entertainment and service tax with 18 percent GST on movie tickets under Rs 100 and 28 percent GST on tickets that cost more than Rs 100.
What has irked Tamil Nadu Theatres Association is that local bodies want to levy 30 percent municipal tax in addition to GST, which takes the total taxation up to 58% for tickets above Rs 100.