Filmmakers to go on strike from February over service tax issue

The Film and Television Producers Guild of India (FTPGI) asks the government to roll back the 12.36 percent service tax or else they will stall all Hindi film shoots from February

Bollywood is all set to join hands with Kollywood (Tamil film industry) in their mission to protest against the imposition of high service tax on films. Remember South superstar Rajinikanth who went on a hunger strike in the interest of his beloved film industry? So taking cue from that, the Film and Television Producers Guild of India (FTPGI) has decided not to allow the release of any Hindi film if the 12.36 percent service tax is not called off.

A trade analyst on the condition of anonymity gave us some andar ka khabar that several B-town actors don’t pay their service tax from their own pockets and openly tell the producers to pay them the tax over and above their acting fees. As a result, producers have no choice but to bear this additional amount apart from their movie budget..

“We have spoken to the I&B Ministry and the State government. We are compelled to enforce a closure by end of January if service tax and VAT are not waived off. We cannot take the burden any longer. It saddens me that in the 100th year of Indian cinema when we should be celebrating, the insensitivity of the government to our problems has put on the brink of perishing,” said the President of FTPGI, Mukesh Bhatt while expressing his concern to a tabloid.

Our feathered friend tells us that the Guild will be holding a meeting tomorrow to discuss the service tax agenda. The films which are likely to be affected include David, Special 26, Any Body Can Dance (ABCD), Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story amongst others.

So, what happens now, only time will tell…