Andhra HC suspends government order to cut movie ticket prices

Hyderabad, December 14 (IANS): The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday suspended a state government order slashing movie ticket prices.

The court passed the orders on a motion filed by movie theater owners challenging Government Order (GO) 35 issued in April this year, slashing prices.

It allowed the petitioners to sell the tickets at old rates.

The applicants argued that the GO had been issued in violation of previous court orders.

They argued that government intervention in determining movie ticket prices was not appropriate and that they had every right to decide ticket prices when new films were released.

Sections of the Telugu film industry had expressed their displeasure with GO and urged the government to withdraw it. However, the government of the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) had defended its decision on the grounds that theaters resorted to exorbitant price hikes before the release of big budget films or films featuring big actors.

Last month, a bill was also passed in the State Assembly for an online ticketing system for films to be administered by the state government.

The government went ahead with the adoption of a law despite the reservations of part of the industry. Cinematography Minister Perni Venkataramaiah has said the AP Cinemas Bill 2021 (Regulation) (Amendment) will control the exploitation of moviegoers.

Megastar Chiranjeevi also called on Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to reconsider the government’s decision to have a low cap on movie ticket prices.

He had said that for the survival of theaters and for the many families who depend solely on the cinema for their survival, these discounted online ticketing rates should have the same flexibility as the uniform GST prices.

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