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Movie tickets may be a button click away

08-March-2004
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Movie tickets may be a button click away

Ever thought of a one-stop shop for buying movie tickets? No more standing in serpentine queues, just walk in any time during the day and buy a ticket at the push of a button?

This could come true if a proposal by consultancy firm Ernst & Young (E&Y) for a `common ticketing platform’ is accepted by the government.

Like the railway ticket booking counter where one can book any ticket to anywhere, one will be able to buy tickets for the latest or Bollywood flicks from the same vending machine if the proposal gets the government nod.

The proposal entails placing ticket vending machines at strategic locations across cities through which you can buy tickets for different movies across different theatres in a city. All of these against a small processing fee.

The government will be a major beneficiary of this move as theatre owners can no longer fudge ticket-sales figures and pay less tax.

Speaking to Business Standard , Farokh T Balsara, director, Ernst & Young, said, “The benefit of a common ticketing platform could be two-fold. The box-office collection, which is till date a mystery, can be monitored effectively thereby leading to an effective tax collection mechanism. Consumer convenience is the other aspect.”

At present, there is no method of ascertaining the exact box-office collection and the system is adversely affected by under declaration.

“The common server technique is not a tough call in terms of implementation as the technology already exists in the form of on-line lottery system. We have already tabled the proposal with the Maharashtra government,” Balsara added.

Other proposals to be tabled include reduction in entertainment tax to 20 per cent across all states.

While entertainment tax rate has been reduced in some states including Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra in the recent past, it continues to be as high as 100 per cent in some states such as Bihar.

According to Balsara, a reduction in tax rate leads to higher revenue accrual for the government.

Industry experts are of the view that the government has played a key role in putting in place a positive regulatory environment.

The multiplex policy is a clear example of this. However, the conditional access system was a failure due to the mandatory nature of the policy.

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