Protesting local body tax, multiplexes in Chennai go on strike

A few multiplexes in Chennai, including Inox and PVR Cinemas, will remain shut on Tuesday in protest against the local body tax imposed on Tamil and other regional films.

Some theatre owners have opined that this move will wipe away their margins and also kill the film industry.

According to the order issued by the Revenue Department, the tax will be collected based on GST returns filed by the proprietor before the Commercial Taxes department. The order also indicated that the system of stamping tickets is to be done away with, to ensure hassle-free remittance.

Soon after the GST rollout in July, the State government had announced that theatres, in addition to the GST, have to pay 30 per cent entertainment tax to their respective local bodies.

After more than 1,000 cinema halls closed in protest for four days in protest against the 30 per cent entertainment tax, the government announced temporary suspension of the local taxes.

Kailash B. Gupta, Chief Financial Officer, Inox Leisure Ltd said, “We are shutting down for a day. We will wait and see what happens.” He did not give a time frame on how long the screens will be down. Inox has nine screens in Chennai with a total seating capacity of 2,200.

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