Tamil cinema’s strike over service tax

Members of the Tamil film industry began a token fast today to protest against the Central government’s move to impose service tax.

The industry’s contention is that the 12.36 per cent service tax on the various crafts would hurt the film and television industry. It may be noted that the industry had gone on a day-long strike on 23 February, 2012, protesting against the plan, but the government went ahead and the new taxation came into effect on 1 July, 2012.

Sarath Kumar, president of the South Indian Film Artistes’ Association, said though the tax imposition has been effective since July, we wanted to raise our voice now as the next budget session is due in a few months and pointed out that the tax added to the burden of the producers as it increased production costs.

Also, he said a representation of the industry’s demands is being prepared and will be sent to the Union Finance Minister.

Various film bodies, including the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC), the Federation of Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI) and the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce and Small Screen Artistes Associations are taking part in the strike.

All shootings have been cancelled and there will no screening of films in theatres.