Tamil Nadu theatre strike called off, interim relief on local tax | regional movies | Hindustan Times
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Tamil Nadu theatre strike called off, interim relief on local tax

After three rounds of talks with the government, it has been decided that the local tax will be waived for the time being and a committee is being formed to decide future course of action.

regional movies Updated: Jul 07, 2017 09:27 IST
Sandeep Acharya
Vanamagan, Ivan Thanthiran and Maragatha Naanayam were running when the strike was called.
Vanamagan, Ivan Thanthiran and Maragatha Naanayam were running when the strike was called.

Tamil filmmakers and theatre owners finally heaved a sigh of relief on Thursday evening as the protest against the government’s decision to levy 30% of local body entertainment tax on and above 28% of GST was finally called off, paving way to theatres to operate from Friday after being shut for four days. After three rounds of talks with the government, it has been decided that the local tax will be waived for the time being and a committee is being formed to decide whether it’s needed or not for the future.

Abirami Ramanathan, president of Tamil Film Chamber of Commerce, confirmed that movie tickets from Friday will cost Rs 120 with an additional 28% of GST. However, filmmakers are still in a dilemma as in they fear if the local tax could be reintroduced in the future. It was also clarified that Tamil films Ivan Thanthiran, Maragatha Naanayam and Vanamagan, which were running in cinemas when the strike was announced, will get an extended week’s run as their prospect at the box-office was hampered. Tamil films that were originally due for release today have been postponed.

The strike had left Tamil film industry in disarray. On Wednesday, superstar Rajinikanth urged the state government to take a decision for the industry’s benefit by doing away with the additional 30% entertainment tax. Veteran Kamal Haasan, who had expressed his views on the issue earlier this week, thanked Rajinikanth for his appeal. Haasan had said, “Filmmaking in the state has been made difficult deliberately. There are further tortures and systemic corruption that the film industry has to endure under this regime.” Kamal had also pointed out that neighbouring southern states have not levied additional tax on cinema over and above the GST.

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