Theatres across Tamil Nadu will continue to remain closed tomorrow as the strike against the local body tax continues. The strike is in response to an ordinance issued by the Tamil Nadu Government that imposes an addition 30% tax in addition to the GST on movie theatres across the state. Theatre owners claim that dual taxation imposes an unduly heavy burden on them.
Members of the Tamil Nadu Producers Council, including president Actor Vishal, and representatives from the Tamil Nadu Theatres Association met the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister CM Edapadi Palanisamy today after several hours of waiting to discuss the issue. Even after a series of meetings that followed with several ministers at the Tamil Nadu secretariat, the issue remains unresolved.
Addressing members of the media after the meeting, Vishal said, “Talks will continue tomorrow as well. We have requested the government to cut down the 30% local body tax.” Abirami Ramanathan, president of the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners association said that the strike would continue, and that “Theatres will remain closed until the government takes action.” Speaking to Silverscreen, Madurai-based theatre owner Saravana Rajan struck a similar note when he spoke to Silverscreen, stating that “Unless the government lifts the entertainment tax, we are determined to shut down the theatres.”
Asked why meetings at the secretariat lasted over 3 hours, producer SR Prabhu, general secretary of the Producers’ Council told this reporter that there was more than one meeting. “We first met the CM and explained our condition and requested the government to do the needful. Later we were asked to meet minister Velumani regarding the same. Vishal and others were waiting to meet CM again to get a positive conclusion to this issue.”