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Opinion: Big Story Behind Heroes' Remunerations

Opinion: Big Story Behind Heroes' Remunerations

There has been a big hue and cry in a section of the population and film industry that the government of Andhra Pradesh is crying on heroes' remuneration. 

Many question "What is wrong if the people are showering money on heroes irrespective of the price of tickets?"

For them it looks like tyranny of the government on the film industry keeping the remunerations of heroes into consideration, but let us look into the actual facts. 

As many don't know, Cinema in theater is tagged as an essential commodity. So, as per the system it is the responsibility of the government to control the prices of tickets though there is no appeal from the public. Already the prices of many essential commodities are under check and many times discussions happen on this even in the Assembly. The opposition parties lament on the rise in prices of essential goods. The government responds to them appropriately and many times keeps the situation under control with moderate increase in tune with the inevitable inflation. But it was never heard of anybody raising the point of film ticket prices. 

Now, keeping the system beside us, let us see what happens if the government takes control of ticket prices. 

As per a latest article in a leading English daily, the remuneration of Ram Charan for a film is Rs 100 Cr; for Allu Arjun, Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan it is Rs 50 Cr; for Ravi Teja it is Rs 20 Cr and for Nani it is Rs 15 Cr. Let us not scrutinize how much they are worth. Let us take a cue from this and analyze the situation. 

These remunerations are becoming possible for these heroes only as they are taking away the major chunk of the collection as their remuneration, irrespective of the producer seeing a breakeven figure. You may say, what is wrong in that as the audience pay only for their craze on star heroes. But here, with the greed of heroes, the profits are booked less and eventually the government is not getting any tax. 

For instance, if Ram Charan's remuneration is fixed at Rs 10 Cr instead of Rs 100 Cr, the remaining Rs 90 Cr can be added to the profit and the corresponding tax can be earned by the government. 

Since the heroes keep on increasing their remuneration in the multiples of 5s and 10s for every film, the figures are so huge that there is no other way for the producers than hiking up the ticket prices at the theaters colliding with exhibitors. 

So, measures are being taken to curb the concentration of wealth at a few individuals through an essential commodity. 

You may say, what's wrong in it as the heroes pay their Income Tax. Well, it is not known what actually they get and how much they file at the ITR. Keeping that apart, many of the heroes are buying properties abroad, with the kind of money they are earning, and thus the money is going out of the country.

It is shocking to know that the AP government earns not more than Rs 15  Rs 20 Cr towards taxes from the film industry. The main culprit is the greed of heroes and big directors. 

The Government has strictly decided to bring down the ticket prices at the theaters. It is known that the exhibitors get affected with this under collateral damage. But in the process, the licenses and permissions to different theaters are also being checked. 

The government must be expecting that the film heroes bring down their remunerations forcibly as they cannot lose the biggest market of Andhra and Ceded. Though there are some loopholes in handling this issue, a step is taken and it has to be seen what results the government gets through this model. 

Kiran Sharma

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Tags: Tollywood