The Tamil Nadu Theaters Association has announced an indefinite strike from July 3 thanks to the GST roll-out and the levy of an additional 30% municipal tax.

With the new GST in place, ticket prices are set to increase by 28% and this has caused a stir in the film industry and among exhibitors.

The Tamil film industry had already put in a request for exemption from the 28% GST that was set to come in on July 1. However, there is no news from the central government on this demand.

As of Monday, more than 800 theaters across the state will not play films as the total tax now stands at nearly 60%. The Tamil Nadu Government’s decision to levy an additional 30% municipal tax will kill the film industry, say trade pundits.

Regional cinema is highly unorganised and many small producers thrive here. But with an additional 60% tax, the ability to make profit is completely ruled out. This has caused a serious concern in the film industry. Interestingly, it is only in Tamil Nadu that local bodies would charge an additional 30% municipal tax – Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have placed no such tax burden on their film industries.

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