The Tamil Nadu Film Producers’ Council has decided to hold off new releases this festive season in protest against the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to impose an additional local body tax of 20 percent and 10 percent on non-Tamil films and Tamil films, respectively.
The producers’ council has said the government’s decision will only add to the problems of the filmmakers. “Tamil film producers have already been affected heavily by problems such as piracy and GST, so the decision to levy LBET has been an additional shock to us,” the council said in a statement.
“Instead of regulating ticket prices, the decision to levy more tax will only lead to confusion. According to the decisions taken at a meeting that happened on Tuesday (Oct 3), we request the government to eradicate LBET completely. Hence, we have decided to not release new Tamil movies from October 6th,” it added.
The members of Multiplex Association of India have also announced the strike against Local Body Entertainment Tax by Chennai corporation citing similar reasons.
Theatres in Tamil Nadu had protested even earlier against local body tax by shutting down the cinema halls across the state after the Centre’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime came into effect on July 1.
The theaters reopened after the government assured the filmmakers that it will look into their demands.
While all other states in South India have exempted their respective film industries from the local body tax, Tamil Nadu is the only state that prefers to impose double taxation over 28 percent GST on the film trade.