Impact of GST and demonetisation: Kannada film industry seeks government support


BENGALURU: Worried about the impact of the proposed goods and services tax (GST) and the Centre’s demonetisation move on Kannada movie industry, the industry leaders have decided to appeal to the state government to come up with protect measures to support the local language films.

“In the proposed GST regime, the Kannada films will be exposed to the competition of unequal and they have to vie with Hindi and Hollywood movies made with huge budget. As the uniform tax rates would deal death blow to the Kannada film industry, we will call upon the state government to come to our support,” said Sa Ra Govindu, president of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce.

Govindu was presenting his case for Kannada film industry at an interactive session on Impact of GST & Demonetisation on Kannada Film Industry.

The suggestions came up the interaction were included urging the Centre to put regional films in the 5 per cent slab and include Hindi and Hollywood movies into higher tax slab.

“Another suggestion is that the state government must leverage a provision made in the GST Bill that local urban bodies are allowed to levy their own entrainment tax, and bring in differential tax rates at the level of municipalities,” said Vivek Mallya, a charted accountant, who took part in the interaction.

 As far as demonetisation is concerned, there was a consensus over going cashless at all levels of movie making and exhibition. Govindu said the film chamber would appeal to all stakeholder including actors and technicians to accept their remunerations through cheque or online cash transfer.
“The Kannada film industry is suffering short term hitches due to demonetisation. The film production has been slowed down, and box office collection has dropped in single screen theatres. As we hope that situation would be stabilised, we appeal to the stakeholders to cooperate with each other. We request theatre owners to share the distress with film producers,” Govidu added.
He said there was an effort to develop a cheaper mobile app exclusively for booking ticket for Kannada movies, while Paytm and Bookmyshow are proving expensive for the Kannada movie goers.

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