The Film Federation of India (FFI) plans a nationwide shut down of the film industry on February 23 to protest against Central Government's proposal to levy service tax which would increase the cost of filmmaking. The duration of the strike is unknown.
"While the cinema industry would definitely suffer due to the strike, most members of the fraternity have decided to support it. The imposition of service tax will cripple the filmmaking process. The Central Government has proposed a service tax of nearly 10.3 per cent. This is not a small percentage. The budget of many films would be hit rather badly," a source told Mumbai Mirror.
Participation by the Film Producer's Guild, the association of top filmmakers in India, is still uncertain.
"The budget of Heroine was finalised about seven months back. I certainly don't approve of this," Madhur Bhandarkar told the tabloid.
"The government has been apathetic to the film industry. Add to this the service tax, which is certainly not welcome. We need to shut shop so that the government sits up and takes notice of this," Mahesh Bhatt told the daily.
According to a letter written by the convener of FFI's Service Tax Committee Ravi Kottarakara Rao, the film industry is subjected to a lot of taxation burden and the imposition of an additional service tax will only add to it, reported the tabloid.