Chennai: Around 1,100 cinemas across Tamil Nadu will be closed from Monday as the theatre owners have called an indefinite strike against a new municipal tax of 30 per cent in addition to the Goods and Services Tax or GST.
The theatre owners decided to cancel all shows from July 3 after the Edappadi Palaniswami government worked around the GST and introduced a 30 per cent municipal tax on cinemas. This would be in addition to the 28 per cent tax levied under GST for tickets that cost over Rs 100. According to the tax rates decided by the GST Council, cinema tickets priced less than Rs 100 were to be charged 18 per cent tax.
"We are going to be forced to pay 58% tax... This will make watching movies in theatre halls unaffordable for a vast majority of the people," a senior functionary of the state's cinema theatre owners' federation told NDTV. The federation has asked the state government to roll back the municipal tax.
Following the implementation of Goods and Service Tax from tomorrow and due to uncertainty over pricing of cinema tickets, most theatres in the state had earlier suspended advance booking of tickets, he added. The federation, however, has decided to resume bookings for the next two days. They will, however, accept booking at existing rates for Saturday and Sunday.
"We welcome GST. We are not happy with the corporation tax which is 30 per cent. It is coming into effect from tomorrow. Kerala government has withdrawn it. We want the Tamil Nadu government to withdraw it too," Tamil Nadu Cinema Theatre Owners' Federation, President Abirami Ramanathan said, according to news agency Press Trust of India.