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Telugu film producers write to government to allow free shoots

Telangana CM K.Chandrasekhar Rao said that the two existing ‘systems’—BJP and Congress—had failed to deliver on promises or resolve decade-old issues in the country. File photo: AFPPremium
Telangana CM K.Chandrasekhar Rao said that the two existing ‘systems’—BJP and Congress—had failed to deliver on promises or resolve decade-old issues in the country. File photo: AFP

  • The body referred to the promise made by the CM during the GHMC polls last December for free permissions to be granted to the film industry for shooting in government locations besides looking into other issues faced by them.

The Telugu Film Producers Council has written to the government of Telangana to allow shoots at locations controlled by certain government departments free of cost, instead of the fees and caution deposit currently fixed by the latter in those areas.

“This action of the government of Telangana will severely affect small producers who are struggling hard due to covid-19," the council said in a letter late last week. The body referred to the promise made by chief minister K.Chandrasekhara Rao during the GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) elections last December for free permissions to be granted to the Telugu film industry for shooting in government locations besides looking into other issues faced by them.

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“Therefore, the Telugu Film Producers Council requests the government of Telangana to issue immediate orders for permission to film shootings in government locations in Telangana free of cost as has been done by the government of Andhra Pradesh in the interest of the development of Telugu film industry in Telangana," the letter added.

To be sure, in much-needed relief to theatre owners, CM Rao had announced a waiver of minimum demand charges against electric power supply to cinema halls in Telangana since March when theatres had shut down till they reopened, flexible pricing and reimbursement of state GST to small-budget films last year.

While the Union Budget earlier this month did not provide any relief to film producers and exhibitors across the country, the latter have often emphasized that the industry is in dire need of some kind of stimulus to overcome the losses brought about by the covid-19 pandemic.

Theatre owners, on one hand, have sought some respite, including easier terms for running their businesses, such as a waiver or reduction in power and maintenance charges, single-window licence for opening more screens, and cheaper financing options for opening multi-utility facilities such as on-premise food courts. Infusion of liquidity in the content production sector through a variety of means such as a liberal loan regime, relief on tax and duties, and refinancing schemes for stalled or delayed projects should also be considered, producers say.

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