Maharashtra CM’s caution comes ahead of cinema halls reopening on Oct. 22

Taking precautions: A worker sanitises a hall at Balaji Movieplex in Navi Mumbai on Monday ahead of the reopening of multiplexes and theatres in Maharashtra.  

Maharashtra CM’s caution comes ahead of cinema halls reopening on Oct. 22

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday directed that the theatres and cinema halls across the State, which are to reopen from October 22, should carry out proper fire and structural safety checks.

At a meeting with the office-bearers of the Cinema Owners’ and Exhibitors’ Association, Mr. Thackeray said a solution would be found in coordination with the Finance Department to address the problems faced by single-screen cinema hall owners, a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said.

A delegation of Poona Exhibitors’ Association demanded that the government give concessions for the renewal of various licenses, including free renewal of cinema licenses, and permission to levy a service charge of ₹25 per ticket after payment of GST.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and Transport Minister and Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab were also present at the meeting along with several senior Ministers and officials.

Cooperation promised

“It was assured that the State government would extend all possible cooperation to revive the film exhibition business,” tweeted Mr. Pawar.

A delegation of the Maharashtra truck tempo, tankers, bus transport federation also met the Chief Minister and presented a number of demands, including exemption from the annual motor vehicle tax and business tax, a complete exemption of motor tax on vehicles transporting passengers to schools and religious places, and a provision of parking spaces for vehicles and buses.

Mr. Thackeray said the Urban Development Department would be informed about the need for adequate parking spaces.

He also asked officials to plan setting up of trauma care centres at various check posts. “A solution will be worked out for transporters who are facing financial crisis,” the statement said.

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