Industry News

E-ticketing introduced at Indian cinemas to prevent tax evasion problem

An e-ticketing system has been introduced in the Indian state of Kerala in a move aimed at deterring cinema owners from tax evasion.

The Kerala government launched the software at the Kairali Theatre in Thiruvananthapuram last week with the hope of enforcing transparency in movie ticket sales. The state has population of around 33 million.

Information Kerala Mission, an autonomous institution under the Local Self Government Department, developed the software.

The e-ticketing will be implemented in theatres owned by Kerala State Film Development Corporations, with private theatres joining at a later date.

It is expected that almost 600 centres are expected to operate with the new ticketing software in the coming days, with a mobile application to also be developed.

The implementation of the e-ticketing software was postponed several times due to the opposition from different cinema associations.

Last month figures from the Indian movie industry criticised the introduction of a controversial ticket price cap in the neighbouring state of Karnataka.

Theatres can charge only Rs 200 (£2.40/$3.10/€2.85) for movie tickets in the region, which has a population of 61 million and includes the city of Bangalore.

Arvind Chaphalkar, owner of a multiplex chain, told the Times of India newspaper that the Karnataka government’s decision was a populist one, and added: “I think the government should restrict itself to deciding the entertainment tax and leave the rate decisions to those running the business. It is basic demand-supply math and with capping, the ticketing black market will thrive.”

Image: Assianir