Top actors Rajnikanth, Vijay, Suriya, Sarathkumar, Prabhu, Prakash Raj, Karthi, Jiiva, Jayam Ravi, Radhika, Prasanna , Sneha and various TV personalities were among the celebs spotted at the one-day fast observed at a venue near Valluvar Kottam in Chennai on Jan 7, by the Tamil film industry demanding scrapping of service tax levied by the Centre on artistes.
This fast was called by apex bodies of film and TV actors, directors, producers technicians, theatre owners and distributors. A host of personalities from film and television industry including directors and producers, distributors technicians and theatre owners are participating in the strike which began at 8 am and ends at 5 pm.
Noting that the Centre was taking several measures to curb black money, Rajnikanth observed that increasing taxes would only lead to more black money. "The centre may be aware of this trend. I feel if stringent laws are framed to penalise tax defaulters, that will bring in more money to the government," he said.
The protesters contended that the 12.36 per cent service tax levied by the Centre on film and TV personalities' earnings on programmes and endorsements would cast additional burden on them as they were already paying income tax.
Actor and President of the South Indian Film Artistes Association Sarathkumar said the entire entertainment industry wanted the service tax to be withdrawn.
Film and TV shooting and other allied activities remained suspended during the protest. Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association President Abhirami Ramanathan said all theatres in the state would remain shut till 5 pm.