New Delhi: The decision to reopen 9,500 screens in India will be taken only after assessing the COVID-19 situation of the month of June, information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar said during a video interaction with the representatives of the Association of Film Producers, Cinema Exhibitioners and Film Industry.Also Read - Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar Likely to Get Top BJP Posts, Roles in Poll-Bound States
India has over 9,500 screens generating nearly Rs 30 crores per day just by the sale of tickets of cinema halls alone. Also Read - Avoid Unnecessary Remarks, Learn From Experience of Predecessors: PM Modi Tells Ministers
In the recently released guidelines by the ministry of home affairs, the resumption of the cinema halls has been kept under phase three along with international flights, metro etc, which, as specified by the MHA, will be taken up in the last phase of the unlocking process that began from June 1. Also Read - IT Minister RS Prasad, Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar Drop Out of Union Cabinet | Full List of 12 Resignations
While phase 1 includes reopening of temples, shopping malls and restaurants from June 8, phase 2 includes the reopening of educational institutes. Phase 2 will be addressed after June 30. There has been no fixed guideline for phase 3 yet.
Discussing the specific demands of the industry, 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.
On the issue of restarting production-related activities, Javadekar said standard operating procedures are being issued by the government. State governments are also issuing SOPs regarding the resumption of film production-related activities. For example, the West Bengal government has already given nod to film production from June 1 — with a restricted number of crew members.
Unveiling the phased reopening termed as ”Unlock1”, the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines had said activities at religious places, the 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.