Kerala

Film bodies withdraw ban on KSFDC theatres

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Tax dept. to look into their demands

The Kerala Film Distributors Association has decided to withdraw its decision not to screen movies in the 17 theatres owned by the Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KSFDC). The film body had earlier taken the decision in protest against the State government’s move to reimpose entertainment tax on cinema tickets.

Following a discussion with Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac and Cultural Affairs Minister A.K. Balan here on Saturday, the association decided to withdraw the protest. The government had in September decided to impose 5% entertainment tax on cinema tickets up to ₹100, and 8.5% on tickets above ₹100, as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on tickets were reduced.

Dr. Isaac said the Tax Department would look into the demands of the film bodies that the tax be further reduced. “It was a needless pressure tactic, as the State has always taken a positive attitude to the film industry in this regard. None of the film bodies protested when the GST was fixed as 18% and 28%. Still, the State government took a stand in the GST Council that this should be reduced, based on which such a decision was taken. Unlike States such as Tamil Nadu, the Kerala government did away with the entire entertainment tax when the GST was first imposed. Only when the GST rate was reduced did the government decide to let the local bodies collect entertainment tax,” said Dr. Isaac.

He said the film bodies had taken the decision without submitting a memorandum to the government. Now that they have given a memorandum, the Tax Department will examine their claim that the ticket prices are going above the minimum slabs after the imposition of entertainment tax.

M. Renjith, president, Kerala Film Producers’ Association (KFPA), said that with the addition of the entertainment tax, ticket prices had gone up to ₹128–₹130 even in normal theatres, making it unaffordable to the common man. He said the government has now taken a favourable stand. An assurance had also been given regarding implementation of ticketing machine in theatres by April next year.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 11:14:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/film-bodies-withdraw-ban-on-ksfdc-theatres/article30126362.ece

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