MUMBAI—Kamal Hassan has made an intense statement on GST (Goods and Services Tax), which came into effect Jul. 1 in India. Here is the unabridged text:
“Neighboring states like Kerala have totally desisted from levying any more state tax on Cinema over and above GST. The film industry requested the CM of Kerala Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan, and he, through his Finance minister, quickly announced that Kerala would not be levying any more taxes on the already- beleaguered film business. Karnataka has gone even further to facilitate the well- being of the film industry. Telangana and Andhra are also doing their best for their film industries. It is only Tamil Nadu Govt. that has brought it to 30 percent.”
“Filmmaking in this state has been made difficult deliberately. There are further tortures and systemic corruption that the film industry has to endure under this regime. All factions of the Industry are agitated. I am trying my best as any sensible individual of the industry to maintain solidarity and not play into the hands of any self-serving and avaricious politician.
“Before, Bihar used to be the nation’s whipping boy when it came to corruption. Now TN has left Bihar leagues behind. (The) film industry is one among the many industries asphyxiated by the prevailing systemic corruption in the State. I anticipate even stronger protests soon.”