GUWAHATI, July 16 - Asking the State government to involve film exhibitors of the State in making decisions related to film policy, the All Assam Cinema Hall Owners� Association today stated that the recent Cabinet decision to rationalise the service charge for exhibition of films was taken without considering its views.
Though agreeing in principal with the service charge modification, the hall owners rued that policy decisions like this must take all the stakeholders into confidence.
�If rationalising the service charge for Assamese and regional cinema can really uplift the condition of the regional film industry, we are ready to accept it. However, a stronger regional film industry requires more than this,� maintained the association secretary, Rajib Kumar Bora.
�As per the government notification, for Assamese and regional cinema, the charges should be Rs 14 for AC cinema halls where the rate per ticket is Rs 100 and above and Rs 8 per ticket for non-AC cinema halls. However, as per the reports of the new Cabinet, the charge is likely to be slashed further to Rs 12,� he added.
The association stated that the service charge for hall owners is still Rs 5. However, the government has made provisions that the cinema halls, which have upgraded with a digital sound system, push-back seats, air conditioning and improved ambience, can levy some additional charges.
Only 12 cinema halls, out of the 52 running, currently charge Rs 40 as service charge.
�We have agreed to the demands like showing regional cinema in prime time as demanded by the producers. But only the quality of films and adequate publicity are going to draw in the crowds, rather than anything else,� he added.
�We have to invest a lot in the facelift and maintenance of cinema halls. Good condition of halls is equally important for regional cinema,� added the hall owners, demanding a balanced policy for the overall development of the industry.