The implementation of GST has earned the wrath of Tamil film industry. The South Indian Film Chamber has opposed the 28 per cent GST rate proposed on the industry.
Popular star Kamal Haasan has raised his voice against this. He says that regional cinema was the pride of the country and it cannot be pressurised through taxes.
‘Regional cinema is the strength of Indian cinema. This diversity is the reason why this country is strong.
That diversity has to be maintained. You cannot pressurise that. Regional cinema has been the pride of India,’ he said.
Kamal Haasan and other senior members of the film fraternity including South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce President Kalyan were speaking to media after discussing the impact of the proposed Goods and Services Tax slabs for the film industry.
The chamber said it was wrong to place regional cinema along with national and hollywood cinema at 28 per cent GST. Regional cinema were made on ‘minuscule’ budgets unlike the Bollywood and Hollywood films, it said pointing out that out of 2,100 films made in the country last year, 1,700 were in the regional languages.
‘This kind of high rates of tax will kill the regional films,’ the chamber said in a statement. It appealed to the Centre to reduce the GST rate on entertainment tax to 18 per cent from the proposed 28 per cent, copyright sale rate from 12 per cent to five per cent and the slab for services like artistes, and technicians to 12 per cent from 18 per cent. Explaining the important role played by regional cinema, Haasan said it stood up at International scrutiny and award committees.
‘Apart from the 28 per cent (of taxes under the GST), we will be paying the income tax. Just see where you (Government) are taking us (film industry),’ he said adding most of the people cannot afford to pay this kind of tax. Asked whether the issue was taken up with the state government, Kalyan said the government had assured that the issue will be discussed during the GST Council.