The Madras High Court has ruled that tickets for Tamil films which quality for the 30% tax exemption shall cost Rs.83.30. The order will be effective within four weeks. The Court clarified that the tax burden for movies that avail of the tax exemption should not be passed on to the viewer by theatre owners. The order was passed following a writ petition filed by KJ Saravanan. Currently, all tickets cost Rs.120, with a breakup of Rs.119 as the admission fee and Re.1 as maintenance charges. As per the new order, selling tickets for tax exempt films will become an offence.
A ‘U’ certificate is mandatory (along with a title in Tamil) but does not automatically qualify a film for a tax exemption. Exemption is only given to films which are seen as promoting ‘Tamil culture’, and which do not contain ‘excessive violence or obscenity’. Most recently, Puli was denied the exemption on arguably arbitrary grounds.
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