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Union Minister of information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar (ANI )
Union Minister of information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar (ANI )

Film producers, theatre owners meet I&B minister Prakash Javadekar

Cinema halls across the country have been shut since the middle of March resulting in a loss of Rs. 80-90 crore per week for the business and all film, television and web production halted

The Union Minister of information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar held a meeting with the association of film producers, theatre owners and other movie industry representatives via video conference on Tuesday to discuss the issues faced the industry due to the coronavirus pandemic. Representations on the same had been sent to the minister by these parties. Cinema halls across the country have been shut since the middle of March resulting in a loss of Rs. 80-90 crore per week for the business and all film, television and web production halted.

A statement from the ministry said that Javadekar believes that relief currently sought by the industry is more to do with financial exemptions such as salary subsidy, interest free loans for three years, exemption on taxes and duties, waiver of minimum demand charges on electricity and electricity at industrial rates etc. Javadekar has assured movie industry representatives that the issues will be taken up with concerned ministries for necessary action. The minister has taken note of the fact that India has over 9,500 screens generating nearly 30 crore per day by way of sale of tickets of cinema halls alone.

While guidelines issued earlier in the week allowed resumption of television shoots, further SOPs (standard operating procedures) are being issued by the government for movies too. With regard to the demand to open up cinema halls, Javadekar stated that the decision will be taken after evaluating the status of the covid-19 crisis in the month of June.

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