Manual ticket issuing in cinema houses in Kerala will soon become history. The government is planning to introduce an e-ticketing system in theatres across the state, and the whole transition process is expected to be completed in a year.
Information Kerala Mission (IKM) has been developing a software for the e-ticketing system, after the project was sanctioned by the Local Self Government Department (LSGD) under which cinema houses function in the state. The LSGD gave the sanction to develop the software in February this year. The move is expected to bring transparency in the ticket issuing system, and prevent tax evasion - the LSGD gets the entertainment tax from the tickets, and Kerala Cultural Welfare Board gets the ticket cess. At present, the entertainment tax is 20% in the state whereas cess is Rs 3 per movie ticket.
“The advantage of e-ticketing is that it ensures that the government receives the tax, and the possibility of tax evasion in manual ticket issuing is prevented,” an official of IKM told TNM. The move to introduce e-ticketing dates back to 2012, but the government had to hold the decision owing to protests from various corners, including movie exhibitors. Earlier, the then United Democratic Front Government had notified that e-ticketing will be introduced in theatres from May 2016. The system will first be introduced in Kalabhavan Theatre in Thiruvananthapuram, owned by the Kerala State Film Development Corporation, by the end of April. The idea is introduce it in the 14 theatres under KSFDC on an experimental basis , and later expand it to the rest of the theatres in a year.
IKM is also in the process of developing an app to book tickets. The app is yet to be named. “Once developed, the app will be introduced on a pilot basis for theatres under KSFDC,” IFK Executive Director Seeram Sambasiva Rao said. According to officials, the app will be introduced as a parallel system to the existing private ticket booking systems, and not to do away with them.