Telangana to ban online movie ticket sale?

The Telegana government has proposed cancelling the permission to popular film-ticket booking apps such as “bookmyshow” and “Paytm”, so that consumers will have to buy tickets through the portal of the Telegana Film Development Corp. (TSFDC). Film and cinematography minister T. Srinivas Yadav revealed this to reporters at the assembly on Saturday.

He said the government, the producers and the theater owners would benefit from this. He added that actors would emerge without the patronage of certain families in the Telugu film industry. Sources disclosed that though viewers purchase tickets for 534 screens online, the potential tax amount eluded the government. Tax was levied in two slabs: one for theatres in urban areas, and the other for rural areas.

For every 200 tickets they sold, theatre managements were apparently paying tax for only 100, according to the government. They also noticed that online booking services were collecting `24 to `30 as service charge per ticket, whereas the actual cost was only `100. Some online services were found to have invested `10-20 crore in theatres to ensure ticket sales through their portals.

The government feels that ticket sales through the TSFDC portal will ensure that tax revenue directly reaches the exchequer. They cited the example of the Hyderabad Race Course which was paying meager tax until raids netted crores of revenue.

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