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Bollywood stars may strike in protest at Government tax levy

By
Mukesh Bhatt

© Twitter / Mukesh Bhatt

Bollywood stars may go on strike in protest at a government decision to apply a service tax for film and TV actors.

The government has proposed that a 12.36% service tax be applied from next month for all earnings from film, TV shows and endorsements in addition to income tax.

President of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India Mukesh Bhatt told IANS : "We are in a process of deciding that if we have to call for a shut down. It's not our choice, we are compelled to do so. We are having a meeting soon and then we will decide about it."

Race 2 producer Ramesh Taurani confirmed that a meeting will be held on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

"Tomorrow (Wednesday) all the producers will have a meeting where we will have to find a solution to the problem. It's an additional burden on us and we can't handle this anymore," he said.

A similar proposal for a tax surcharge for stars of the Tamil industry resulted in leading actors, including South Indian superstar Rajnikanth, going on hunger strike on January 7 in protest.

Bhatt said that the government has shown no consideration for the Indian film fraternity, who are this year celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema.

"It saddens me that in the 100th year of Indian cinema, we should be celebrating, but how can one celebrate with this burden and the insensitivity of the government (towards film fraternity)," said Bhatt.

"I am extremely saddened (with the service tax decision) and we can't take this burden anymore. The war is still on and we are looking at a negotiation with the government. The government has no feelings towards the Indian film fraternity," he added.

In the event of an industry strike next month, no films will be released during that period.

Bollywood film producers previously went on strike in 2009 following a dispute with multiplex cinema owners over box office takings.

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