Entertainment tax is not a new tax in the state, said S.P. Velumani, Tamil Nadu's Minister for Municipal Administration, Rural Development and Implementation of Special Programme, on Thursday.
Responding to Leader of the Opposition DMK's M.K. Stalin plea to scrap the 30 per cent entertainment tax, which is over and above the tax levied under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, Velumani said, the entertainment tax was not a new tax in the state.
"The government will be holding talks with the theatre owners later this evening to resolve the issue," he said, refuting the charge that there was double taxation in the state.
Earlier, raising the issue, Stalin said theatre tickets priced below Rs 100 were being charged at the rate of 18 per cent and those priced over Rs 100 were being subjected to 28 per cent tax under the GST regime.
He said the Tamil Nadu government had levied an entertainment tax of 30 per cent over and above the GST, which was double taxation.
Stalin said taking into account the welfare of the workers in the cinema industry, the Tamil Nadu government should withdraw the 30 per cent entertainment tax.
For the fourth day in succession, movie theatres in Tamil Nadu did not operate in protest against the 30 per cent entertainment tax.
"The movie-goers are not going to get any benefit. When the Tamil Nadu government announced tax exemption for Tamil movies with Tamil name, there was not corresponding reduction in the ticket rates," J. Murali, a regular movie-goer, said.
"Similarly, the theatres do not allow us to take our own snacks or water bottles and force us to buy them at their outlets at exorbitant rates," he added.
He said the actors, who were dependent on the fans, were silent on these issues but now they were coming in support of the theatre owners.