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GST: Textile traders in a bind; regional cinemas' prospects dim

Protests were reported from Surat, too, where the police had to resort to a baton charge

Aditi Phadnis & Agencies 

Shopkeepers and traders take out a rally during a bandh called by Chamber of Commerce & Industries, in protest against GST, in Bhopal. Photo: PTI
Shopkeepers and traders take out a rally during a bandh called by Chamber of Commerce & Industries, in protest against GST, in Bhopal. Photo: PTI

Narendra Modi’s was virtually shut down on Monday. 


Weavers and those involved in making the famous Banarasi sari went on indefinite strike to protest the 5 per cent (GST) on the product.

The Banarasi Vastra Udyog Sangh, the umbrella organisation of Banarasi sari producers and traders, is affiliated to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Textile all over India hit the streets to protest the indirect tax.

Protests were reported from Surat, too, where police had to resort to a baton charge after textile allegedly threw stones at policemen, a senior official said. “We had to resort to lathi-charge after some protesters pelted policemen with stones, injuring one of them,” Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma said.

Thousands of hit the streets and chanted slogans. The protest was held in support of an indefinite bandh called by the Sangharsh Samiti.

Rajya Sabha MP and senior Congress leader Ahmad Patel tweeted:  “Shocking that police has used brutal force against Surat protesting against Govt must reason with them, not suppress them."

The wreaked havoc in Tamil Nadu, too. Cinemas across the state cancelled screening and were closed to protest the imposition of 30 per cent entertainment tax, on top of the 28 per cent (goods and services tax). Now the movie industry will have to pay 58 per cent tax. Audiences might have to bear part of this.

Abirami Ramanathan, president of the Tamil Film Chamber of Commerce, told agencies all shows would be cancelled from Monday. He said the state government had notified that municipalities would not levy tax on top of the “If we screen movies, we have to pay local body taxes immediately as it came into force yesterday. We are closing cinemas as there is no other way out. We cannot increase ticket prices for all movies. We have requested the government to fix a threshold within which we should be allowed to change ticket prices.”

The would choke regional films, said industry sources. 

Marathi films, for instance, are not taxed because of a differential rate. The same goes for Telugu In a statement, L Suresh, veteran producer, distributor, and president of the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce, said: “The of 28 per cent will hit south badly. This is not only because (existing) are low, but also in states like Karnataka, there is no tax on Kannada

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