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Kannada cinema enjoys a tax-free run in the state while films in other languages currently attract a 30% tax. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint
Kannada cinema enjoys a tax-free run in the state while films in other languages currently attract a 30% tax. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

Karnataka government caps movie ticket prices at Rs200

The Karnataka government notified a proposal to implement a uniform admission fee policy by capping tickets at Rs200 to regulate prices and promote Kannada films

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government on Tuesday notified a 2017-18 state budget proposal to implement a uniform admission fee policy for all cinema theatres by capping tickets at Rs200 to regulate prices and promote Kannada films.

The notification states the new orders will be applicable to both multiplexes and single screen theatres. The Rs200 cap will be excluding taxes. IMAX and 4DX cinema halls will be excluded from the regulation, the order states.

Neighbouring states Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have also capped movie ticket prices to promote regional cinema and culture.

“Multiplex rates are too high and they unnecessarily impose taxes on common people. The move to cap ticket fares is to ensure benefits to cinegoers," N.R.Vishu Kumar, director, department of information and public relations, government of Karnataka, said on Tuesday.

The notification also states that gold class cannot exceed 10% of the total capacity of a theatre to ensure the new regulations are not circumvented, Kumar said.

The Karnataka film chamber of commerce and other pro-Kannada organisations had proposed the capping of fares before the state budget was presented in February.

Sara Govind, head of the chamber, said the move will help reduce the number and importance given to non-Kannada films in the state. “This will help promote Kannada movies. Big ticket movies like Bahubali-The Conclusion spend crores and book almost 200-300 screens in the state, leaving little space for Kannada films," he said.

Kannada cinema enjoys a tax-free run while other language films attract a 30% tax currently.

Govind says that multiplexes do not give importance to Kannada films with the exception of a few actors. “Other language films get more priority," he said.

Other directions to promote Kannada films include that multiplex should show a Kannada movie or a movie in any language native to Karnataka—like Tulu or Kodava—on at least one of their screens at 1.30 pm and 7.30 pm.

Kumar says that the notification comes into immediate effect and that the commercial tax department will ensure that theatres follow this rule.

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