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Theatres in Kerala to reopen with Vijay’s ‘Master’

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 12, 2021

Government offers entertainment tax waiver, relief on electricity dues

Cinema theatres in Kerala are set to reopen on Wednesday with the release of Tamil movie Master starring Vijay, who has a mass following, after the State government on Monday announced waiver of entertainment tax and relief on outstanding electricity dues accumulated during their closure forced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Government had, earlier this month, allowed theatres to reopen with 50 per cent capacity from January 5 onwards but theatre owners would not warm up to it unless the government reached out to them on their specific demands. Neither did they want to miss out on the opportunity offered by the Vijay starrer.

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CM holds talks

The decision on the reopening was taken following a meeting Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had with representatives of various film bodies. Expressing happiness over the response of the State government, spokespersons for the film bodies indicated that cinema theatres would be re-opened ‘soon.’

As per the agreement reached between the two parties, fixed charges on electricity would be reduced by half, with exhibitors given the freedom to pay up the rest in instalments. Property taxes arrears, which fell due for payment by March 31, 2020, may also be paid in instalments.

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Licence validity extended

The validity of various licences issued by the local bodies, the Electrical Inspectorate, Films Division, the Health Department and the Fire Force has been extended to March 31. These decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister with MM Mani, Minister for Electricity; AC Moideen, Minister for Local Self Government and NS Pillai, Chairman, Kerala State Electricity Board, among others.

But the government is not authorised to decide on professional tax dues, official sources said. The film fraternity bodies that the Chief Minister met with on Monday include the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce, the Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala, and Kerala Film Producers' and Distributors' Associations.

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Published on January 12, 2021
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