MP: Cinema strike to continue, meet fails to break impasse

BHOPAL: Indefinite strike by the cinema halls and multiplexes across the state will continue. A meeting of cinemas hall owners held at Bhopal on Friday ended without reaching at any decision on calling off the strike.

The cine buffs, who missed the three much-awaited Bollywood releases including “Loveyatri”, “Adhadhundh” and “NOTA” on previous Friday due to strike, would again be missing Govinda’s comeback movie “Frydry”, critically-acclaimed film Jalebi and Kajol’s “Helicopter Ela” this week.

Secretary of Bhopal Cine Association, Mohd Azizuddin, talking to TOI after the meeting said “Indefinite strike would continue. There was no decision to end the strike.”

When asked about financial losses being suffered by cinema halls and multiplexes due to strike, he said “Believe me, government is losing more than we are. They are losing 28 per cent GST.”

He denied that cine hall owners’ association has filed any petition in the high court seeking scrapping of additional entertainment tax imposed by urban local bodies of the state. Cinema halls and multiplexes proceeded on strike against additional entertainment tax of up to 20 per cent of the cinemas ticket imposed by urban local bodies. The state government delegated powers to impose additional entertainment tax to the urban local bodies through a legislation in the state assembly.

Bhopal Municipal Corporation was among the first to impose the tax — 5% on tickets up to Rs100, 10% on tickets between Rs100 and Rs200 and 15% on ticket beyond that.

With GST applicable at the rate of 28% for cinema tickets of more than Rs100 and an additional 15% municipal tax, the total tax on a multiplex ticket has gone up to 43%.

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