AMARAVATI: “ We have taken action against several cinema theatres for violation of rules and regulations’’ clarified Perni Venkataramaiah the Andhra Pradesh Minister of Transport, Cinematography on Tuesday. Addressing the media at the Secretariat after a meeting with several film distributors, exhibitors, and theatre owners, the Minister said that officials seized 24 cinema halls in Chittoor and 12 in Krishna district. Around 22 halls which were not having valid licenses were also closed, 83 were seized and 23 theaters were fined, he explained. Special teams formed by the Municipal, Revenue, and Police department conducted checks on movie theatres across the State of AP to find out whether standard ticket rates, fire safety norms, and Covid protocol were being followed.
Speaking further, he said that GO no 35 was issued in the month of April. Taking a dig at actor Nani's comments on comparing theatres earnings with kirana shops, the Minister said,” I am not sure where Nani was or where he counted the Kirana shop earnings at that time, he stated in his imitable style.
In reference to Tamil actor Siddharth, he said, "I do not know whether these people (Nani & Siddharth) were speaking with the knowledge or not. We had a meeting with distributors and exhibitors in September. The owners of the cinema halls did not take the necessary permits, or the NOC for fire regulations, etc., despite telling them to renew them. We have taken action against the theaters only of those who have no permission. There is no question of any vengeful act by us,” he stated.
Responding to actor Siddharth’s statements, the Minister said that he was in Chennai and hence would have made those statements for the benefit of CM Stalin or Modi, he scoffed. “ Siddharth does not pay taxes here anyway. Let him come to our houses and see how we live. We do not make decisions for everyone. The government's idea is to benefit the common people and this is being done taking into consideration the directions of the High Court. The government is ready to negotiate with anyone and we are ready to hear any issues related to the film industry. It is not right to attribute anything to the government, ” Perni Nani, replied. The Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy looks at everyone in the same way and there is no discrimination, he stated further.