Opposing the move of the Tamil Nadu Film Chamber of Commerce to indefinitely shut down theatres across the state from July 3 following double taxation under the GST regime, filmmakers here have urged the chamber to revoke its decision.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) came into effect from Saturday. Following the government’s announcement to levy 30 per cent of entertainment tax over the GST rate of 28 per cent, the chamber decided to shut down theatres in protest.

Filmmakers Slam Tamil Nadu Theatres Shutdown Over Tax
Filmmakers Slam Tamil Nadu Theatres Shutdown Over Tax

Actor Vishal Krishna, President of the Tamil Film Producers’ Council, said he has appealed to the chamber to defer its decision. “The critical decision was taken (by the chamber) without the consent of other organisations. In fact, we were not even informed and their move came as a shocker. We have urged them to revoke their decision and give us time to discuss the taxation issue with the government,” Vishal told IANS.

On Friday, Abirami Ramanathan, President of the Tamil Nadu Film Chamber of Commerce, said the government should fall in line with other southern states’ tax slab. While a Rs 100 ticket in the neighbouring states (Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka) would cost Rs 118 post-GST, it would cost Rs 148 in Tamil Nadu, thanks to the government’s additional 30 per cent state tax on the ticket.

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Filmmakers R. Kannan and Vijay are opposed to the decision to shut down theatres. Kannan’s latest Tamil directorial Ivan Thanthiran hit the screens on June 30. The ban would “kill my film”, he says. “I have borrowed money and produced Ivan Thanthiran. How am I going to repay if theatres are closed? This is like killing a newborn. My film has just released and this move will kill my film. I really don’t know what I should do now,” Kannan told IANS.

He has urged the Tamil Nadu Film Director’s Association to intervene in the matter. “I request to my peers in the association to look into this matter. I’m helpless and I really need a miracle,” he said.

Filmmaker Vijay, whose Tamil drama Vanamagan is in its second week in cinemas, has a similar plea. “While I agree with the chamber’s concern over double taxation, they also need to take into consideration the fate of films that are currently running in cinemas. My film has just entered second week of successful run and when things finally started to look good, this announcement took everybody by surprise,” Vijay said.

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