TAMIL NADU

Tamil Nadu theatres to open as tax row ends

tn-theatre-pti A security person at the locked up gates of a deserted cinema in Chennai on Monday | PTI

Theatres in Tamil Nadu will open on Friday after a four-day strike after the government decided to keep its 30 per cent entertainment tax in abeyance, the Tamil Nadu Film Chamber of Commerce announced on Thursday.

"We are calling off the strike. After GST on tickets, there is no entertainment tax. The government has agreed to keep the 30 per cent entertainment tax in abeyance," Chamber President Abirami Ramanathan said.

According to him, theatres will start functioning from Friday, with Madhavan starrer "Vikram Vedha", "Nibunan" and "Pandigai" due for release.

The tickets, which have a cap of Rs 120 in the state, will have a 28 per cent GST and those below Rs 100 will have 18 per cent GST levied on them.

The theatre owners were upset that 30 per cent was being levied by the state government over and above the 28 per cent Goods and Services Tax, making movie watching an expensive affair.

Actors such as Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan lent their voice to the appeal for fair taxes on the entertainment industry.

After DMK leader M.K. Stalin called for scrapping the 30 per cent entertainment tax, S.P. Velumani, the Tamil Nadu Minister for Municipal Administration, Rural Development and Implementation of Special Programme, said entertainment tax was not a new tax in the state.

Meanwhile, former Union Finance Minister and BJP veteran Yashwant Sinha warned of an imminent threat of indiscipline among states if they follow Tamil Nadu in levying additional taxes over the agreed rate in a particular sector.

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