Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh (AP) information and public relations (I&PR) minister Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) on Monday held talks with producers, distributors and exhibitors of Telugu cinema and said the government will soon roll out a state-run online ticketing system.
The meeting comes a week after the AP government passed an order (GO) to set up a state-run website to sell movie tickets online for both single and multiplex theatres across AP. The ruling YSR Congress Party’s (YSRCP) move to enter into this business came as a surprise for the Telugu film industry, as many big wigs are anticipating red tape.
On Monday, Venkataramaiah said that the delegation from Tollywood welcomed the state government’s decision. The AP government’s move to set up a website for online ticket sales has been undertaken to ensure that entertainment (movies) is available at affordable rates, so that tickets can be offered online at government-set pricings, said a statement from the minister.
During the meeting, he explained that the online ticket system will ensure transparency by curbing the sale of black tickets that burden the public and also keeps a check on tax evasion, added the statement. Venkataramaiah said that producers, distributors and exhibitors brought various issues to government’s notice and that a decision will be taken after reviewing their requests.
He assured that the AP government, headed by chief minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, will respond positively to any request that benefits the public and said that the only aim of the government is to make entertainment available to the general audience without burning their pockets. Filmmakers, distributors and theater owners along with Dil Raju, DNV Prasad, Adi Seshagiri Rao and DVV Danayya have attended the meeting.
Since the GO was passed last week, many from Tollywood have been worried, primarily because a state-run website would mean that money would first go to the government, and then would have to be claimed by distributors. “How can that work? It will definitely create a lot of issues. The main issue the government has is tax evasion, which is an old issue,” said a producer who did not want to be named.