Tamil Nadu: Govt, film body stand off ends, entertainment tax cut to eight percent
Chennai: The week long stand off between the film industry bodies and the government over entertainment tax ended on Friday with the state cutting it to eight from ten per cent and regulating prices of tickets to cinema halls.
Tamil Film Producers Council chief Vishal, after a meeting with chief minister K. Palaniswami said the entertainment tax by local bodies have been cut to eight from 10% by the government. However, 20% tax will continue to be levied on non-Tamil language films and a request has been made to reconsider and cut it down, he said and added, “that request is under consideration (of the government).”
The standoff saw several new Tamil flicks being held up as film producers body announced last week that new movies would not be screened in view of the tax. The fate of new movies of top stars like actor Vijay’s Mersal slated for release for Deepavali next week hung in balance.
During last week of September, a local body entertainment tax of 10% was announced by the municipal authorities which was stoutly opposed by film industry bodies. Local administration minister S.P. Velumani, information and public relations minister Kadmbur Raju took part in the high level meeting at the secretariat which was chaired by Palaniswami.
Besides Vishal, his colleagues from the Council, representatives of the Tamil Nadu Film Exhibitors Association led by Abirami Ramanathan, film distributors including Tirupur Subramaniam participated. Vishal said the government has streamlined and now fixed the ticket rates in cinema theatres.
The ticket prices in airconditioned cinema halls throughout Tamil Nadu, other than multiplexes, will be a minimum of Rs40 and maximum Rs100. In non-airconditioned theatres other than multiplexes, the minimum will be Rs30 and maximum Rs80. In multiplex theatres, a minimum of Rs50 and a maximum of Rs150 can be charged. Over and above the prices, entertainment tax and GST will be levied on cinema tickets, he added.
“No cinema theatre can charge more than the fixed rates and one can complain if charged more,” he said. His assertion comes against the backdrop of cinema theatres charging exorbitant ticket prices for movies of top heroes like Rajinikanth. “Cinema should not be an expensive affair for a family, it must be affordable,” the Tamil film producers body chief said. e and Abirami Ramanathan said also food products in cinema halls will be sold only on MRP.