Black market ticket sale causes loss to exchequer: TS, AP govts' intervention sought

Distributors claim that tickets for Guntur Kaaram' were reportedly sold for Rs 2000 each in various areas

Close on the heels of ‘Salaar,’ the tickets of the latest star-studded movie ‘Guntur Kaaram’ have also been sold in black in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Distributors claim that tickets for ‘Guntur Kaaram’ were reportedly sold for Rs 2000 each in various areas under the guise of benefit shows and fleeced the gullible fans. “The governments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have to keep a check on such illegal activities and stem the loot,” says a distributor and adds, “A decade ago, tickets in black were sold by a few poor families living near those 1000-odd theatres with lesser margin. But now, it has become an organized crime and the illegitimate money is landing in the pockets of rich distributors and exhibitors, which has to be curbed,” he adds.

Earlier, distributors cried hoarse when the tickets of the much-hyped ‘Salaar’ were sold between Rs 2000 to 5000 per head in two Telugu states and claimed that it set a bad precedent in the industry. “Benefit shows have become a farce these days and makers of star-studded movies are hoodwinking the government of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and causing loss to their exchequers. These days, benefit shows are filling the pockets of distributors and not fan clubs. Benefit shows were allowed for fans of respective stars because those fan clubs used to spend money on charity. Now, the extra ticket money is pocketed by distributors in varied places by keeping the authorities in the dark,” he informs.

They also question the disparity in hiking ticket rates for big movies like ‘Salaar’ and ‘Guntur Kaaram’ and demand the same price. “While Telangana government allows Rs 100 hike per ticket, while Andhra Pradesh gives a hike between Rs 40 and 60 per head and we are amused with this disparity and they should be made on par. Telangana government has to re-look about costly admission rates since it is denting the footfalls and also affecting common man for first 10 days of a new release,” says another distributor.

Despite the hike, the distributors are still pushing up the rates and cheating the government exchequer. “No doubt, the state governments get Rs 36 as GST on a Rs 200 ticket. When distributors sell the same tickets for Rs 2000 or 5000, the two governments are deprived of any additional GST. It is nothing but taking the governments for a ride and officials have to curb illegal menace forthwith,” he concludes.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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