LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday issued stay order against the Punjab governments orders by which it withdrew exemption of entertainment duty on India or English films to cinema owners. Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed restricted Punjab government from adopting coercive measures against cinema owners for charging entertainment duty on India or English films. The LHC judge passed these orders while hearing three petitions filed by the owners of Shabistan, Empire and Metropole cinemas against the Punjab governments cinema policy. The court also issued notice to Punjab government with directions to submit reply on the matter within one week. Earlier, the petitioners through counsel Ali Sibtan Fazli pleaded that entertainment tax was an excise duty and under the constitution only federal government could impose such a tax. The petitioners counsel argued that 90 per cent of cinemas in Pakistan got completely demolished and government reduced entertainment duty from 150 per cent to 65 per cent after decline in cinema industry. He said in 2004 government had exempted entertainment duty for two years that was further extended for three years that expired in 2009. He said during that period a local film Channa Sachi Muchi was released and it collected revenue of Rs 33,000 from Lahore during first three days of its release. Government had also constituted a 15 member committee including parliamentarians and representatives of cinema industry. But now all of sudden chief minister had announced that exemption would be available for Pakistani movies while no such concession would be given to English and Indian movies.