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No show from today, say theatre owners

Theatres across the central region remained closed as the owners resorted to an indefinite strike from Monday urging the State government to abolish the local body tax which was over and above the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

All shows were cancelled for the day in around 90 theatres across the central region, including 20 in Tiruchi district alone, thus impacting the business. Theatre owners here said though the indefinite strike would severely impact their business, sustaining the same in the wake of the local body tax along with GST would make it even worse for them.

The strike was total with no shows anywhere in the central region and across the State, said S. Sridhar, joint secretary of the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association.

“The State government should seriously consider abolishing the 30 % local body tax as this would be a huge burden for the theatre owners as they would have to pay GST along with it”, said A. Loganathan, owner of the ‘Rambha and Urvasi’ theatres in Tiruchi.

Total loss for theatre owners would be around ₹2 to 3 crore per day in the TT area (Tiruchi/Thanjavur) encompassing of eight districts, including Karaikal in the central region, said Mr. Sridhar.

While abolishing the local body tax, the State government should also consider increasing the price of ticket fares which have not been hiked for over a decade now, Mr. Loganathan said.

“The indefinite strike would no doubt paralyse production units, affect employees of cine theatres and deny daily income to the theatre owners. But, if the present system of levy of local body tax continues along with GST it would make matters even worse for the theatre owners in the longer run, Mr. Loganathan said.

With several cinema theatres across the State already having turned into marriage halls and other commercial complexes, the theatre owners want a environment which could help sustain their business, Mr. Sridhar added.


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