Bollywood’s Feb 23 strike called off

Mukesh Bhatt
MUMBAI: Bollywood’s planned strike Feb 23 to protest against the imposition of a service tax on the film industry has been called off after a meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, industry officials said Tuesday.

"This strike has been called off. We had a meeting with the finance minister and he has asked us to wait till the budget," producer Ratan Jain told IANS.

"He understood our problem and then we decided not to go for strike till March 16 until the budget comes out. So, all the multiplexes and Bollywood will continue to move on without any strike on Feb 23," he added.

Film Producers’ Guild vice president Mukesh Bhatt also said that after the positive meeting with the finance minister, they have decided to remain patient till the budget.

"His hands are tied right now and I will respect that. I am glad about the fact that he heard our plea patiently and has asked us to wait till the budget," he said, adding they will wait till March 16 and then take a decision on their future course of action.

The industry seems to be relieved with this decision.

"It’s a fair decision as ultimately we are here to do business and not to strike. Since the finance minister has promised to look into the matter, we shall wait till the budget," said producer Kumar Taurani.