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Mumbai: The Maharashtra government which faced severe criticism for proposing to make it mandatory for multiplexes to reserve one screen for Marathi movies during prime time, has changed its position.

Relaxing its definition of prime time, which was earlier considered to be between 6pm and 9pm, the government now says that any show of a Marathi movie between 12pm and 9pm will be acceptable. An announcement to this effect was made by the state’s cultural minister Vinod Tawde while speaking to reporters on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Tawde while responding to a debate on the state’s cultural policy in the assembly, said that the government will make it mandatory for multiplexes to reserve one screen for Marathi cinema during prime time. While Bollywood raised concerns about the decision, the Marathi film industry welcomed it.

This is not the first time such a decision has been announced.

In 2010, the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government had made it mandatory for multiplexes to have at least 124 shows of Marathi movies in an year in return for tax breaks being given by the government to multiplexes. However, producers were unhappy and complained that they were given show times at odd hours like 8am or 9am.

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