Disputes over ticket prices for movie theaters in Andhra Pradesh continued as a panel formed by the state government met on Tuesday but could not reach a decision, when well-known filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma again attacked the state government for taking a detrimental decision. In the interest of the film industry.
The committee met for the second time since it was formed late last month to examine and rationalize admission rates in state cinema halls. The meeting was chaired by Chief Secretary (Home) Kumar Biswajit.
Film director Vemuri Bala Ratnam said they had given advice on ticket prices, especially in rural areas. He said, “We have told the committee that the theater owners will not be able to pay the electricity bill due to reduction in prices.
The committee noted that 200 theaters across the state had closed due to reduced ticket prices. They also wanted some relaxation in the rules of the theater.
Gampa Lakshmi, a member of the committee for the Cinegoars, said they had emphasized the need to rationalize ticket prices. The meeting also discussed issues related to providing basic facilities in cinema halls.
The committee was constituted on the directions of the Andhra Pradesh High Court which repealed GO 35, under which the state government reduced the price of cinema tickets.
The government has said that the committee will consider all relevant issues in determining the admission rate, such as the classification of theaters such as multiplexes and single screens, and the facilities required for cinematographers.
The panel includes the Chief Secretary, Information and Public Relations Commissioner, Secretary of the Law Department, representatives of film exhibitors, distributors and synagogues.
Meanwhile, a day after talks with Cinematography Minister Parni Venkataramaiah (Nani), Ram Gopal Verma on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the state government.
In a series of tweets, Verma questioned the government’s move to reduce ticket prices.
He called on the government to focus on both ticket prices, the number of events and the time it takes to release the film industry and focus on both its strength and resources to enforce safety rules and collect the taxes it deserves.
He wondered if the government was restricting the sale price of any privately produced product other than film.
“How can a Rs 500 crore film like ‘RRR’ and only a Rs 1 crore film be forced to sell tickets at the same price,” he said, referring to the government’s demand that ticket prices should be the same for all films. , Regardless of banner or star.
How can an RRR film worth Rs 500 crore and a film worth only Rs 1 crore be forced to sell at the same ticket price?
– Ram Gopal Verma (@RGVzoomin) January 11, 2022
Some sections of the film industry feel that the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is targeting its political opponents who are the biggest stars of Tollywood, such as Pawan Kalyan and Balakrishna.
RGV, Verma is popularly known, mentioning that Maharashtra is allowing Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’ tickets to sell for Rs 2,200 but his own state Andhra Pradesh is not allowing them to sell for Rs 200.
“In other states, even tickets are being sold for Rs 2,200, and if not even Rs 200 is allowed in AP states, isn’t that a direct violation of Article 14 which prohibits discrimination,” RGV asked.
After a meeting with the RGV, the state minister said that the government has the power to fix movie ticket prices under the Cinematograph Act, 1956.
The filmmaker said that the way in which the government has suddenly dug up and implemented the law after 60 years cannot be accepted. He called for the law to be challenged in court.
RGV also wondered why the government would have a problem with how much money a producer is paying a star if the film star does not have prior knowledge of some criminal intimidation or extortion by trying to extort money from the producer.
“Why pay so much money to Pawan Kalyan or any other star, if we break down an iPhone and calculate the actual value of the material used, it may not be Rs.1000 but it sold for around Rs.2 lakh because of the ideas, brand and market demand. , ”He tweeted.
The filmmaker said the government was indirectly doing what it was not supposed to do, forcing it to sell tickets at a lower price, exerting excessive authority.
He warned that forcibly lowering ticket prices could lead to the collapse of the theater exhibition system or “the whole system will start running in black which will be bad for both the film industry and the government”.
Cinema owners in the state have been at loggerheads with the government since the new rates were later set under a government order issued in April 2021. They say that lowering prices has made their business ineffective.
The recent crackdown on theaters over alleged non-compliance has made matters worse for them. As a result, several theaters have closed over the past few weeks.
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