Kollywood is set to witness yet another strike. After the Tamil Nadu Producers' Council, now the exhibitors are prepping up for bring the entire cinema halls across the state in March 2020 to a stand still.It is being planned to protest against the Local Body Entertainment Tax (LBET) being collected by the state government.
Tirupur Subramaniam, the President of the Tamil Nadu Film Exhibitors Association, has said that the theatre owners are planning to shut down in March owing to difficulties in running cinema halls. The 18 percent GST and 8 percent Local Body Tax are not helping the business in anyway for them.
Final Decision Post Pongal 2020
"It has become almost impossible to operate theatres with the 18 per cent GST plus the eight per cent LBET, in addition to the 70 per cent, which we have to pay the distributors. Earlier, when we intimated the same to the government, they said a solution would be arrived at in six months' time, but so far, nothing has happened. An official decision on the shutting down of movie halls will be announced if the meeting between producers, exhibitors and distributors, scheduled to be held after Pongal, doesn't yield any result," The Times of India quotes Tirupur Subramaniam as saying.
Tax Before the GST
Before the implementation of the GST, the state government imposed 30 percent entertainment tax on movies, but gave tax exemption to the movies which had Tamil names as its title, promoted the local culture and bagged 'U' certificate from the censor board.
However, once the GST came to effect, the state government decided to have 10 percent LBET in addition to 28 percent GST on movies. After much protest, the LBET was reduced to 8 percent, while the GST was the movie tickets priced less than Rs 100 was brought down to 18 percent.