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Sandalwood actors, producers protest against service tax proposal

Posted on Jan 08, 11:34AM | UNI

Actors, Producers and other stake holders of the Kannada cine sector known as Sandalwood today joined compatriots in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to protest against the Union Government's decision to impose service tax on actors, who earned more than Rs ten lakh per annum.

A number of film actors, directors, distributors and exhibitors assembled at the city and launched a silent protest against the Centre's decision which seeks to charge 12.36 per cent of service tax on all actors earning above Rs ten lakh from July 1 this year.

They complained that the industry was already paying income tax and entertainment tax which amounted up to 60 per cent and the new proposal will shoot up the fees charged by the actors which will ultimately have to be borne by the producers and hit the entire industry.

The agitators complained that their profession was an art and not a business and it should be termed as a service to the society.

Those, who joined the protest, included actors like Ambareesh, Puneet Rajkumar, Sudeep, Darshan, producers like Raghavendra Rajkumar and 'Rockline' Venkatesh and several others.

Veteran actor Ambareesh, who is also a former Union Minister, said the 'market' of cinema actors was shortlived and he had to make a life out of it within that period and service tax will be a burden on them.

A delegation will be taken to Delhi to press for withdrawal of the Service Tax.