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Service tax: cinema screens go blank
February, 24th 2012

The entire activity in the Kannada film industry came to a grinding halt on Thursday in protest against the decision of the Union Government to impose service tax on the film industry.

More than 800 cinemas, barring some multiplexes, downed their shutters across the State in response to the bandh call given by the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC). Representatives various wings of Kannada film industry, including producers, directors, cinematographers, workers, exhibitors and other sectors took out a procession of from the office of KFCC to Ananda Rao Cirlce and garlanded statue of Mahatma Gandhi.

A delegation comprising actors Ambareesh, V. Ravichandran, Shivarajkumar, Raghavendra Rajkumar, Puneet Rajkumar, Sudeep, Tara, Bhavana and Shruti met Governor H.R. Bharadwaj and handed over a memorandum demanding that the Union Government withdraw the service tax.

The bandh was observed following direction from Film Federation of India. Speaking to presspersons, KFCC president K.V. Chandrashekar said that introduction service tax would be a huge burden and despite several appeals Centre was not prepared to reverse its decision.

The government had fixed service tax of 10.3 per cent. But as per the government policy, exhibitors could not collect the same from the audience.

In case of transferring the burden there will be opposition from the public. This will be an additional burden for the industry, which has been burdened by various taxes, he explained.

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