It will be business as usual for the Tamil film fraternity from Friday, with theatre owners withdrawing their agitation against the “steep taxes” imposed on them following the GST rollout.
The four-day stir was cut short after three rounds of talks with the government, during which ministers assured agitators that the government will form a panel to decide on the municipal tax.
GST taxation will reflect on film tickets when the movie halls reopen, forcing cinemagoers to shell out a little more than they are accustomed to.
“We decided to withdraw the stir after the government agreed to constitute a committee comprising government officials and members of the film fraternity to resolve the municipal tax issue,” said Abhirami Ramanathan, president of the Tamil Nadu Film Chamber of Commerce.
Theatre owners and distributors in the state have demanded a complete rollback of the 30% municipal tax over and above the 28% GST imposed on ticket sales because “it was certain to cripple their business”.
With this, tickets priced at Rs 120 will become Rs 153, and those costing Rs 110 and Rs 100 will rise to Rs 130 and Rs 118 respectively.
The theatre owners’ stir received support from the Opposition DMK and Congress, which raised the issue in the state assembly. Municipal administration minister SP Velumani responded by saying that the government will address issues affecting all sections of the society.
Earlier, finance minister D Jayakumar told association members that while the government sympathised with them, the matter required a policy-level decision. The agitators – including members of the Tamil Film Producers Council, South Indian Artistes Association, theatre owners and film distributors – had held talks with chief minister K Palaniswami in this regard on Monday. Though the meeting did not result in a consensus, the film fraternity was hopeful of a positive outcome.