Minister of Transport, Cinematography and I&PR of Government of Andhra Pradesh. (DC Image)
Vijayawada: Cinematography minister Perni Venkataramaiah has agreed to meet director Ram Gopal Varma soon to discuss a revision of rates for cinema tickets by the AP government.
The two shared their views in a series of tweets. Following a request from the film director for a meeting with the minister, Perni readily agreed to do so. Based on the discussions, the government would take a final decision.
The tussle between the film director and the AP government on the rates for tickets and other issues continued for a long while.
The minister maintained that state governments were fixing the rates of admission into cinema theatres for nearly 66 years so as to avoid any exploitation of the viewers by cinema halls.
The minister asked, under what act, the price of cinema ticket which used to cost Rs 100 was to be enhanced to Rs 1,000 or Rs 2,000, and wondered whether such indulgences could be considered as black marketing in tickets.
The minister said cinema is a main source of entertainment to the people. The government is duty-bound to regulate the ticket charges. He ruled out the government seeking any role or regulation in film production.
Perni said the ticket charges are to be fixed as per the norms of Cinematography Act, 1970 and the people expected of the government to safeguard their interests.
Director Varma asked the minister as to why the government would not subsidize the ticket rates if it thought cinema viewing was so essential to the poor, as was being done in the case of medicines etc.
Varma said if the prices of food grains were lowered, the farmers would lose their motivation to do cultivation and raise crops. So with the film industry too, he said.