Andhra govt forms committee to review cinema ticket prices

Nimrat Kaur: Long live the movies
Under government order the Andhra government had slashed the ticket prices of theatres. Photo: IANS

Amaravati: Amid the ongoing row in Andhra Pradesh over ticket prices in cinema theatres, the state government on Tuesday formed a committee to look into the issue.

After a meeting with film distributors, Cinematography Minister Perni Nani announced that the committee will make 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 an appropriate decision 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 entertainment is accessible to the common man at an affordable rate.

The minister denied that the government is targeting theatre management and said the action was being taken only against those who are running theatres without permission or in violation of rules. He said the 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 the ticket prices. 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 the next time the actor will make 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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