Kannada film producers call for one day strike

BANGALORE: Unhappy with the deputy chief minister Siddaramaiah's state budget proposal on entertainment tax on non-Kannada films, the Kannada Film Producers Association (KFPA) has decided to go on a one-day strike on 23 July.

The film industry, in its pre-budgetary representation, had requested the deputy chief minister to refrain from reducing entertainment tax on non-Kannada films from 70 per cent to 40 per cent. That the government didn't oblige the KFPA's request is the reason for the strike call.

The association members are planning to meet the state deputy chief minister on 26 July to make a formal request to reconsider the proposal.

KFPA has also demanded that the government should extend subsidy to all the Kannada films produced in the state, with the exception of remakes and sex and violence-dominated films. The Karnataka Film Exhibitors Association (KFExA) has, however, agreed to temporarily accept the budget proposal.

The release of a number of movies could be delayed by a week if the strike takes place.

The state already provides subsidy to the extent of Rs.1 million per film for a select 20 films per year. Whether the viewer will benefit from the proposed tax cut or not remains to be seen. The authority for pricing of tickets rests solely with the theatre owners.

Pricing is generally determined by various factors such as location of the theater and the fluctuations in its show timing collections, among other things. It is likely that the prices in major cities may remain the same, but in villages and towns where the ticket cost could affect the collections in a major way, the tax reduction benefit may be passed onto the viewer.

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