July 7, 2017
When theatre opened after a four-day gap, viewers were in for a shock – the price of tickets shot up and soon the filmgoers were left wondering if the strike was only for the benefit of the film theatre owners and the government, as it certainly was not in favour of the viewers.
Hiked ticket prices, at 28 per cent GST over and above the Rs 120 ticket (which already had entertainment component even before GST kicked in), and expensive water and snacks inside the theatre hall and parking fees, all combine to cost a bomb for the filmgoer.
“The GST they said was for the benefit of the people. At present, I don’t see any benefit and I am seeing that we the people are spending more only, whether it is film ticket or filter coffee in a wayside restaurant that has begun charging Rs 3 more for a cup,” lamented Krishna Mohan, a private sector employee outside Sathyam theatre complex on Friday.
The film theatre owners had struck a deal with the government and withdrew the four-day long strike after an assurance that the 30 per cent corporation tax would be dealt with. A joint committee has been formed by the government to hammer out an agreement on this.
But in the whole affair, what has been left unsaid in the whole affair is that the theatre owners went on a strike but were silent that the tax was already contained in the ticket prices even before GST kicked in. The entire GST burden of course has been shifted to the consumer.
Finance minister D Jayakumar said that the government was considering the representation of the film fraternity about the repeal of the 30 per cent corporation tax.