Andhra Pradesh govt passes bill to prohibit sale of movie tickets in cinema halls

Andhra Pradesh govt passes bill to prohibit sale of movie tickets in cinema halls

Andhra Pradesh govt passes bill to prohibit sale of movie tickets in cinema halls

Andhra Pradesh has become the first state in the country to take over the sale of movie tickets to curb tax evasion. The state assembly on Wednesday, 24 November, passed a bill to make it compulsory for cinema halls to sell movie tickets through an online platform which will be run by the Andhra Government.

Giving information about the same, state Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkataramaiah said that the Andhra Pradesh Government brought the amendment to regulate movie ticket pricing and stop the exploitation of middle-class people by some exhibitors. The Bill was tabled yesterday on behalf of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

(Also read on Firstpost - Explained: Why Andhra Pradesh govt is launching online cinema ticketing portal)

The system will work in a manner similar to Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), and the Indian Railways online ticketing system, as per news reports.

The minister cited the current structure of irregular ticket pricing, large gaps between the taxes and film collections, and unauthorised shows as issues to be tackled. “All these days, the exhibitors have been screening the films for six or even seven shows a day to make big money. Besides, they are collecting Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 on each ticket in the name of benefit shows, caring a damn for the rules and regulations,” Venkataramaiah said in a Hindustan Times report.

The State Government is confident that the new online movie booking system will keep a check on tax evasions and improve the theatre experience in the state.

As per news reports, the system will curb the selling of tickets in black market at a higher price and allow consumers to book tickets from anywhere in the state, without queuing up in cinema halls.

As per Venkataramaiah, while some parties are politicising the issue, distributors, producers, and exhibitors have liked and welcomed the decision. He added that the Film Development Corporation (FDC) will maintain the online system, with a payment gateway to stop tax evasion and enable the Revenue Department to collect taxes, without facing any irregularities, on time.

Prominent Telugu film producer, DVV Danaiah, hailed the decision and said the film industry doesn’t have any objections to the Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to take over the online cinema ticketing system.

Venkat Arikatla , Telugu film critic, expressed his mixed reaction by saying the online ticketing system was going to be a complicated affair, adding that it would be difficult to implement it.