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Rajinikanth Tweets Appeal to Govt as Standoff Over 'Extra Tax' Continues

Rajinikanth on Wednesday made an appeal to the Tamil Nadu government to remove the 30% local body tax levied in addition to the Goods and Services Tax as nearly 1,000 cinema halls remain shut in the state due to the stand-off.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:July 5, 2017, 12:18 PM IST
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Chennai: Superstar Rajinikanth on Wednesday made an appeal to the Tamil Nadu government to remove the 30% local body tax levied in addition to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as nearly 1,000 cinema halls remain shut in the state due to the stand-off.

Tweeting in the early hours of Wednesday, Rajinikanth said:



The issue has also been raised by veteran actor Kamal Haasan who hit out at the state government for not backing the "already beleaguered" film industry. "Neighbouring states like Kerala have totally desisted from levying anymore state tax on cinema over and above GST.... Karnataka has gone even further to facilitate the well-being of the film industry. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are also doing their best for their film industries. It is only the Tamil Nadu government that has brought it (entertainment tax) to 30%," the actor had said in a statement.

Speaking to CNN-News18 on Wednesday, President of the South Indian Film Chamber L Suresh said, “The tax imposed by the state government is unethical. It amounts to double taxation. We want the state tax to be completely removed.”

Quoting sources, PTI reported that the industry has taken a Rs 20-25 crore hit because of the stand-off. "We were told that discussions will continue. We are awaiting a decision from the government," PTI quoted a source as saying.

Going ahead with their strike announced on June 30 on the eve of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout, the exhibitors have shut their halls citing their 'inability' to pay both taxes. Besides the local tax, a GST of 18 per cent has been fixed for tickets priced below Rs 100 and 28 per cent for those above Rs 100.

The issue has also figured in the state assembly with the opposition raising it. "They (Cinema industry representatives) had met the Chief Minister (K Palaniswami) yesterday, but still theatres are shut. Why," DMK Leader Durai Murugan asked. Congress Legislature Party leader K R Ramasamy also raised the issue. Responding, Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani assured that the government would give due consideration to problems of all sections of people. "Talks are going on," he said.

"We are against the Corporation (entertainment) Tax which is 30 per cent. This is in addition to the GST rates (of upto 28 per cent). We are not against the GST. We welcome it," Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners and Distributors Association President Abhirami Ramanathan had said.

Representatives of the association and others, including South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce, South Indian Artistes' Association (SIAA) and Tamil Film Producers Council, had met Palaniswami over the tax issue.

(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat of the state Assemblies in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you put on the psephologist's hat. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Swati Sharma
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