Andhra govt forms committee to examine movie ticket price issue

The committee will take a decision on categorisation of theatres and suggest ticket prices accordingly to the government, Cinematography Minister Perni Nani said.
File photo of a movie theatre
File photo of a movie theatre
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Amid the ongoing row in Andhra Pradesh over ticket prices in cinema theatres, the state government on Tuesday, December 28, formed a committee to look into the issue. After a meeting with film distributors, Cinematography Minister Perni Nani announced that the committee will take a decision on categorisation of theatres and suggest the ticket prices to the government. The minister said the panel was formed to resolve the issue and assured that the government will carefully consider its recommendations.

He said distributors and their associations brought their problems to the government's notice and have demanded a hike in ticket prices. The government has also received similar requests from other sections of the film industry. "All these requests are under our consideration. We will take appropriate decisions after receiving the report of the committee," he said.

Stating that the committee has been formed on the advice of the High Court, he clarified that the government is not adopting any delaying tactics by constituting the committee. He claimed the government's intention was to ensure that the entertainment is accessible to the public at an affordable rate.

The minister denied that the government is targeting theatre managements and said that action was being taken only against those who are running theatres without permissions or in violation of rules. He said action was taken against 130 theatres. He denied that this has anything to do with the Government Order (GO) 35. Under this GO, the government had slashed ticket prices in the state. The High Court on December 14 suspended the GO, but the government went for an appeal against the order. The court subsequently ruled that theater owners can apply to the government for revising the ticket prices.

The minister took exception to actor Nani comparing cinema ticket prices in the state with prices in kirana shops. He hoped that next time, the actor would make such a statement with “some responsibility”. He also questioned the right of actor Siddharth to comment on ticket prices in Andhra Pradesh. "He may have made some comment about Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Stalin. He lives in Chennai, pays taxes there so how is he concerned with the ticket prices in Andhra Pradesh," he asked.

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