‘GST is a liability to film industry’

Around 1,000 cinema houses in Tamil Nadu have cancelled screenings against the imposition of 30 per cent local body tax apart from additional tariffs under the new GST regime.
Abirami Ramanathan
Abirami Ramanathan

Chennai

“Though the Tamil Nadu Film Exhibitors Association had decided on Friday to cancel shows from July 3, many theatres shut down on Saturday,” president of the association, Abirami Ramanathan said. Archana Kalpathi, CEO of AGS cinemas, told DTNext, “Our screens will shut down only from Monday as per the association’s decision. 
One thing that we would like to clarify is we are not against the GST. But it is about the local tax that has been levied on us above the entertainment tax and GST.  So, everything together has now tallied up to Rs 68 as tax for a Rs 100 ticket. Also at this point of time, we also wouldn’t want to take a stance that it will result in loss for us. We will only know theeffect after sometime. However, on a long run, GST will have a positive effect on the industry. There was a speculation that the Producers’ council might go for a digital and a DTH release in future.” 
However, the President of the council, Vishal Krishna said that these were baseless rumours. “The GST is a liability to the industry, especially the producers. We had also requested the exhibitors to postpone the strike which they didn’t. Of course, we understand their perception on this issue. But we request the exhibitors to realise the plight of the producers whose lives depend on the movie release. We hop the state government will do something about this.”

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