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Film Industry to shut work, observe fast against Service Tax

Posted on Jan 08, 11:33AM | UNI

The entire Tamil film industry would observe a day-long token fast here tomorrow to protest against the Central government's move to impose service tax.

The industry contended that the 12.36 per cent service tax imposed by the Centre would hurt the film and television industry.

It may be noted that the industry had gone on a day-long strike on February 23 last year protesting against the move, but the government went ahead and the new taxation came into effect from July 1, 2012.

R 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 time." He said the tax added to the burden of the producers as it increased production costs.

A representation of the industry's demands was being prepared and it would 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 would be taking part in the fast.

All film shoots scheduled for tomorrow have been cancelled and there would be no screening of films in theatres.

All prominent film personalities, producers, directors, besides theatre owners would participate in the fast.

Meanwhile, Union Minister V Narayanasamy urged the film personalities to withdraw the strike call.

Speaking at the Chennai airport, he said, "We have been collecting service tax for the past ten years and it is being used for developing education and medical facilities." "Seeking an exemption from the service tax by the film industry is unfair," he noted.