AP Govt once again creates issues for Telugu Film Industry

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What seemed to be a foregone nightmarish chapter for the Telugu cinema industry with ticket prices has now returned in the state of Andhra Pradesh and this time with a little more tinge of sourness. Theatre owners have now been asked by the government to sign the agreement within the month to comply with the online ticketing portal system introduced/to be introduced by them.

While this isn't a cause for concern, the issue is with the terms of the agreement. While the government is only supposed to collect the service charges on ticket booking, the current agreement suggests that the full value of the amount be credited to the government treasury itself which will then deduct the service charges and pay back the exhibitor(s) the remaining amount. The icing on the cake is the timeline that the refund will be provided in, which is none. Yes, there's no concrete timeline that is specified in the agreement that states by when the refund would be provided and this exactly is irking the exhibition circle and keeping them away from signing the agreement.

With news of bankruptcy looming on the state for a while now and delays in payments to a lot of other circles, the exhibitors feel that there is no guarantee that payments would be made on time and they cannot gamble money into such arbitrary schemes. Some exhibitors are quoted saying that they'd rather shut down their theatres than run with such agreements.

The Film Chamber of Commerce which has identified the impact of this has now intervened in the issue and has sent a request to the government stating that they will be handling the online portal side of things and that they'd be providing the government with a way that they could check the transparency of the portal as and when required. Whether the government has agreed to this proposal isn't known yet.

The issue which's started about 14 months earlier has taken many a turn and has now reached a saturation point where things have turned sour between the government and a variety of parties in the film circle including actors, producers, distributors, and exhibitors, not to mention a plethora of other people dependent on exhibition business. While it is unclear why the government is hell-bent on a private demand-supply business with a yield of not more than a few tens or hundreds of crores in a whole year's revenue, an average cinephile would only hope that this issue is kept to bed once and for all and the exhibitors would hope for better sensibilities while making new agreements from the other party.

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