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GST protest: Tamil Nadu theatre owners call off strike, govt to resolve row

Theatres to resume functioning from tomorrow with ticket prices up to Rs 120 with 28% GST

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

GST, tax, taxes, I-T, income tax
Photo: Shutterstock

The four-day-old strike by more than 1,000 cinema halls in protesting of 30 per cent local body in addition to was today called off after the state proposed setting up of a bipartite committee to resolve the issue.

The theatres will start functioning from tomorrow with the ticket prices set to go up from the present maximum of Rs 120 with the addition of 28 per cent of

The decision to set up the committee comprising and industry representatives was taken at a meeting between senior ministers and office-bearers of and Distributors Association (TNTODA) and other stakeholders here this afternoon.

Emerging from the meeting which lasted for more than an hour, TNTODA president Abirami Ramanathan said the theatres would begin functioning from tomorrow as usual.

Top functionaries of Film Producers Council and South Indian Artistes' Association also participated in the meeting held at the state secretariat.

Going ahead with their strike announced on June 30 on the eve of rollout, the exhibitors shut their halls since July 3 citing their 'inability' to pay both taxes.

parties and prominent industry players, including superstar Rajinikanth, had appealed to the to step in to resolve the issue, saying the livelihood of lakhs of people dependent on the was at stake.

Today's meeting came in the backdrop of the issue also figuring in the where the government said steps were being taken to find a solution.

"We have decided to call off the strike which has been going on the for the last four days. More than 1,000 theatres were shut across The daily loss (incurred due to closure of theatres) was estimated to be Rs 20 crore," Ramanathan told reporters.

When asked how much one has to pay for a movie ticket with theatres set to resume operations, he said, "similar to other products and services, along with the existing capped rate of Rs 120 per ticket, 28 per cent will be levied under GST".

This means movie goers might have to shell out a maximum of around Rs 153 per ticket as against existing Rs 120.

Ramanathan thanked Finance Minister D Jayakumar, Commercial Taxes Minister Veeramani, Municipal Administration Minister S P Velumani and Information and Publicity Minister Kadambur Raju for taking steps to break the impasse.

He said the proposed committee would have eight members from the "I do not know how many members will be representing the government," he said.

The association had been demanding the withdrawal of the local body of 30 per cent, saying would not be able to pay both and the

"We hope the committee's decision will be in favour of us. We have been demanding removal of the local body tax," he said.

Earlier in the day, the issue of closure of the theatres echoed in the assembly for the second time this week with the raising it.

Leader of the and Working President M K Stalin raised the issue, saying imposing of the local body tax amounted to double taxation since the GST has been rolled out.

Besides Rajinikanth, had also extended support to the strike by the association.

Rajinikanth, who is currently in the US for a health checkup, had yesterday requested the government to consider the film industry's plea. expressed his gratitude to the "Kabali" star for taking up the issue.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 06 2017. 20:06 IST