AP to take up online sale of cinema tickets
Exhibitors up in arms against govt move
Amaravati: In what could be described as the replay of the proposal once introduced during YS Rajasekhar Reddy's regime, the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government is planning to sell the movie tickets through a government website.
The only difference is that at that time, the government wanted to entrust the sale of tickets to a private company but now the government is planning to take up the sale of tickets itself.
The online ticketing system website is proposed to be managed by the AP State Film, Television and Theatre Development Corporation. It may be mentioned here that no State government had entered into such a business anywhere in the country till date.
Principal Secretary Kumar Viswajeet issued an order here on Wednesday forming an 8-member committee to prepare the blueprint, development and implementation of online booking of cinema tickets on the lines of railway online ticketing system.
The Principal Secretary (Home) would be the chairman and the Principal Secretary (IT) would be the co-chairman.
Secretary of I&PR and MD of AP State Film, Television, and Theatre Development Corporation, Commercial Tax Commissioner, Joint Collectors (Revenue) of Krishna and Guntur districts, Managing Director of APTS and Special Secretary (IT) would be members.
This move of the government is being opposed by the exhibitors, who said on Wednesday that they would meet soon to chalk out future course of action after studying the modalities recommended by the eight-member committee.
Raja Vasireddy Bhupal Prasad, former president of the AP Exhibitors Association recalled that Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy entrusted the sale of tickets to Galaxy Company to sell the movie tickets throughout the State. The exhibitors took strong exception and even moved the court against it.
Subsequently, the move was dropped, he said. He opines that it would be impossible to maintain the website and the government should not take up such tasks. Recalling attempts to sell movie tickets through e-Seva in the past, he said that all the tickets landed in the hands of black marketeers.
Sometimes, the e-Seva sold the tickets and the movie was not released which caused uproar among the ticket buyers. Referring to the private websites like BookMyShow and others, he said that they attract the audience with various incentives which the government website may not be able to do.
Moreover, if there was delay in depositing the money collected on tickets, the exhibitors will be severely affected, and their business would get ruined.
On one hand the Centre says that the government should not be involved in any business but here this State government wants to sell movie tickets, he adds.