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Tamil Nadu government reduces Local Body Entertainment Tax to 8%


The state government had earlier announced that the theatres would have to pay a Local Body Entertainment Tax of 10% in addition to the Goods and Services Tax of 28% for Tamil films.

Manigandan KR

The Tamil Nadu state government has decided to reduce the Local Body Entertainment Tax (LBET) on film tickets to 8%.

The state government had earlier announced that the theatres would have to pay LBET of 10%, in addition to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 28% for Tamil films, while LBET for non-Tamil films would be 20%. This had resulted in protest by various segments of the Tamil film industry. 

LBET strike: No new Tamil films to release until new tax removed, says Producers Council

While the multiplexes announced that they would be cancelling shows, the Tamil Film Producers' Council (TFPC) said that no new Tamil films would be released in the state. The industry's representatives demanded a complete roll back of the LBET, as they said it not only violated the one-nation-one-tax principle of the GST, but also posed a severe threat to the film business in the state. However, the state government had refused to withdraw the new tax structure.

Glad with reduction in LBET, representatives of various film bodies, including TFPC and the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners and Distributors Association, called on the state's chief minister, TEK Palaniswami, to thank him.

The TFPC has, in the meanwhile, pressed for implementing certain rules for operating theatres in the state. This, the body believes, will provide some relief to audiences. Some of the rules suggested are as follows: 

1. No tickets should be sold above the government-mandated rates

2. Theatres must sell items in their canteen on MRP rates. More importantly, viewers must be allowed to carry their own water bottles inside the theatre

3. Parking charges should not be levied on film goers

4. Online booking charges should be brought down

The council has also warned that any theatre found selling tickets at a higher price than that stipulated by the state government will have to face consequences.

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