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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

‘Revival script’ in offing for UP single-screen cinemas

Anupam Srivastava, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, October 08, 2013
First Published: 09:39 IST(8/10/2013) | Last Updated: 09:44 IST(8/10/2013)

The new entertainment policy of Uttar Pradesh is set to give a new lease of life to single-plexes on the verge of closure.

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At present, there are 460 operational cinema halls in the state but 290 have already served notice of closure owing to poor business.

During the past 10 years, about 510 cinema halls have closed down in the absence of a supportive policy for singleplexes.

Minister of state for entertainment tax Tej Narain Pandey said that the policy would focus on rejuvenating the single-plexes.

All proposals invited from the Uttar Pradesh Cinema Exhibitors Association were being carefully scrutinised and most of them would be accommodated, he said.

“Had I not been busy with other events like Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama, the policy would have been rolled out. But I want to assure you that the resurrection of single-plexes is top on my agenda. I do not want any single-plex to close down, I think if these single-plexes are given permission to modify and run shops and showrooms on their premises along with the theatre, not only would they generate more revenue for the government but also more employment for youths,” said Pandey.

He said the other demand of reducing tax on single-plexes was also being studied by experts as the government did not want to lose any revenue.

However, the Cine Exhibitors Association said that presently the state got Rs. 105 crore revenue from singleplexes but if the taxes were reduced and modifications were allowed like multiplexes, this revenue could shoot up to double.

The state is also considering the proposals to turn some places in the state into shooting sites for Bollywood movies.

Films which are shot in the state may be given tax concessions in the state.

However, general secretary, UP Cinema Exhibitors Association Ashish Agarwal said, “The exhibitors are happy that the state government has taken care of us. But one cannot deny the fact that the tax in Uttar Pradesh is the highest in the country. We are paying 40% tax on an aggregate which turns to 74% overall, but when we compare it with Delhi (20%) and states like Haryana, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir where state governments have abolished entertainment tax for the survival of singleplexes, the condition of UP emerges as poor.”


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