Tamil Nadu theatres call off strike on fourth day; committee formed to look into taxation issue
Four days after they went into complete shutdown, Tamil Nadu theatres have called off their strike, that saw them lose between Rs 5-7 crore daily.
Theatre owners launched the strike on 3 July, to protest a local bodies tax that the state government had announced, in addition to the Goods and Services Tax that came into effect this month. With the local tax set at 30 percent, and the GST between 18-28 percent, theatre owners feared that they would run into heavy losses — especially since the Tamil Nadu government has imposed a cap on ticket prices (Rs 50 for single screens and Rs 120 for multiplexes).
With all 1,127 screens in the state being shut, the fate of major upcoming releases — such as Madhavan-Vijay Sethupathi starrer Vikram Vedha, the Hollywood film Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Sridevi's Mom — remained uncertain.
Meanwhile, leading stars of the industry such as Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan had requested the government to rethink its stance on the local bodies tax. Several high-level meetings were also held between the Theatre Owners' Association, Tamil Film Producers' Council and Nadigar Sangam and ministers in the state government.
Abirami Ramanathan, the president of the Tamil Nadu Cinema Theatre Owners’ Federation, has now said that theatres across the state will reopen on Friday.
The Indian Express quoted Ramanthan as saying the strike was called off 'after a committee, comprising government officials and representatives of the theatre association, was formed to sort out the tax issue'.