Reopening of cinema halls will be examined after assessing the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in the month of June, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday.
The minister conveyed this to the Association of Film Producers, Cinema Exhibitioners and Film Industry representatives during a video conference convened by him to discuss the problems being faced by the industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an official statement said.
Representations on the problems being faced by the industry had been sent to the minister earlier by these parties, it said.
On the demand of opening of cinema halls, Mr Javadekar told the representatives that "it will be examined after looking at the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in the month of June", the statement said.
The minister, while addressing the industry representatives, appreciated the fact that India has over 9,500 screens generating nearly Rs 30 crores per day by way of sale of tickets of cinema halls alone.
Discussing the specific demands of the industry, Mr Javadekar said relief sought by the industry was more financial in nature such as salary subsidy, interest free loans for three years, exemption on taxes and duties, waiver of minimum demand charges on electricity and electricity at industrial rates, among others.
Mr Javadekar assured the representatives that the issues will be taken up with concerned ministries for necessary action, the statement said.
On the issue of restarting production-related activities, Mr Javadekar said standard operating procedures are being issued by the government.
Unveiling the phased reopening termed as ''Unlock1'', the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines had said activities at religious places, opening of hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services and shopping malls will start from June 8.
However, it had said that cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums and similar places will continue to remain shut.