Covid effect: Several theaters in Karnataka adopt wait & watch policy

News Network
October 16, 2020


Bengaluru, Oct 16: Despite the Union government giving its nod to screen movies in theatres, only a handful of hall owners have come forward to open theatres from Friday.

Speaking to news agency, a theatre owner on condition of anonymity said that many theatre owners are sceptical to screen movies on the first day.

“Most of us are adopting the wait and watch policy in Karnataka, as we want to read the pulse of the viewers before opening the theatres,” he explained.

Karnataka Theatre Owners’ Association president K.V. Chandrashekhar said that there are 650 single screen theatres in the state and of this, 140 are located in Bengaluru alone, while 260 screens operate in various multiplexes across the state.

“Until now, the association has not got a clear assurance from its members as to who are going to open their theatres from Friday. A clear picture will only emerge on Friday,” he said.

He added that the biggest fear among the theatre owners is how the viewers will react. “It is not easy to predict now, as it will take at least five or six weeks to assess the correct picture about the theatre business,” he explained.

However, another source said that only about 15 to 20 theatre owners have explicitly shown interest to open on the first day.

“Covid has created panic among the people and we are no different. It is very clear that when the markets are in red, one cannot expect great returns. Film watching is always the last option for a common man, as his priorities like food and shelter should be fulfilled first. Then only he or she can think of coming for entertainment,” a theatre owner said.

However, most of the theatre owners in Bengaluru were busy cleaning and dusting the theatres, which are gearing up to screen movies.

The manager of a famous theatre in the Majestic area said on condition of anonymity that the viewers’ interest in watching movies in theatres is on a downward trend for the last two decades, ever since colour TVs coupled with cable network came into dominance.

The Majestic area once housed more than two dozen prominent theatres, but now half all of them have been converted into shopping complexes, he said.

According to him, in the 70s viewers used to come to Nartaki, a famous theatre, just for the sake of enjoying the ambience of the theatre. But now it is no more an attraction to the young crowd.

“Even multiplexes do not enthuse the viewers anymore. As people are getting accustomed to small screen viewing, viewers are deserting the theatres,” he said.

“It may not be easy for us to generate enough revenue to pay our staff’s salaries. We have to see how the viewers respond to the movies,” he added.

Speaking to news agency, noted script writer Satymurthy Ananduru said that it is not easy to attract viewers back to the theatres as most of the viewers have moved to the OTT platforms for their daily dose of entertainment.

“If the movie theatres are going to release old movies or movies which have already been streamed online, it would be difficult to attract viewers back to the theatres,” Ananduru said.

He observed that Bengaluru has always been cosmopolitan in nature even before the IT boom happened, unlike the neighbouring states which are full of avid movie buffs.

“Only one movie star enjoyed such craze — late thespian Dr Raajkumar. Such being the case, it is difficult to attract viewers back to the theatres in Bengaluru,” he said.


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October 14,2020


Mangaluru, Oct 14: A team of Mangaluru City Corporation inspected mutton stalls in the city today following allegations of illegal sale and mixing beef with mutton.

Mayor Diwakar himself led the team of officials that carried out surprise inspection at abattoirs and mutton stalls in Urwa Store, Urwa Market and other places.

The team checked the licences and bills of the slaughterhouse and stall owners. The officials concerned were notified to keep a vigil following complaints of illegal slaughtering and selling of meat.

The owners of stalls and slaughterhouse were also instructed to have seal without fail on the meat that is being sold as well as to maintain the bill for the same.

The mayor also warned all the stalls not to indulge in any illegal selling of meat.

MCC standing committee presidents Poornima, Kiran Kumar, coporator Sudheer Shetty were also part of the team.




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News Network
October 14,2020


Mangaluru, Oct 14: Amidst incessant rains for past few days, the barrier wall of the historical Sri Karinjeshwara Temple at Bantwal taluk has collapsed.

The damage was noticed by the temple staff on the morning of Wednesday, October 14.

The courtyard adjoining the wall was used to feed monkeys after daily prayer to the god.

“The temple is located on a huge rock and has a history of almost four Century. The bottom of the collapsed area is stone and mound hence no damage was done to the temple,” the temple administrator Noonya Naik said on Wednesday.

He further stated that remedial action will be taken after structural review by a specialist.


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News Network
October 14,2020


New Delhi, Oct 14: The Supreme Court Wednesday said the centre should implement "as soon as possible" interest waiver on loans of up to Rs 2 crore under the RBI moratorium scheme in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying the common man's Diwali is in the government's hands.

The apex court sought to know from the Centre as to whether the benefit of loan interest waiver for borrowers of up to Rs 2 crore during the moratorium period has “percolated” to the common man.

The court, which observed that it is concerned about how the benefit of interest waiver would be given to borrowers, said the Centre has taken a “welcome decision” by taking note of the plight of the common man but authorities have not issued any order in this regard.

“Something concrete has to be done,” a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said, adding, “Benefits of waivers to borrowers up to Rs 2 crore must be implemented as soon as possible”.

The top court, which posted the matter for hearing on November 2, told the advocates appearing for the Centre and banks that “Diwali is in your hand”.

The Centre recently told the apex court that going any further than the fiscal policy decisions already taken, such as waiver of compound interest charged on loans of up to Rs 2 crore for six months moratorium period, maybe "detrimental" to the overall economic scenario, the national economy and banks may not take "inevitable financial constraints".

The top court is hearing a batch of petitions which have raised issues concerning the six-month loan moratorium period announced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bench, also comprising Justices R S Reddy and M R Shah, said when authorities have decided something then it has to be implemented.

“The government has taken a welcome decision taking note of the plight of common man. But you have not issued any order to anybody. You have simply given us the affidavit,” the bench told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

“We are now concerned about how waiver benefit will be given,” the bench said, adding, “We are only asking whether the loan interest waiver has percolated or not”.

During the hearing conducted through video-conferencing, Mehta told the bench that the Centre has taken an “informed decision” and has taken a “huge burden”.

“When Central Government says on an affidavit that it will be implemented then there should not be any apprehensions,” Mehta said. “There is diversity in lending and different modalities are required to be followed.”

He said banks would waive interest on interest and then will be compensated by the government and calculation will have different modalities.

“We are telling you that it is a welcome decision but they want some concrete things,” the bench observed, adding, “We welcome the decision of the Centre, only thing it should be translated practically”.

The bench said the Centre may take steps to implement its decisions referred to in the affidavits filed in the court.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for banks association, told the bench that banks would implement whatever decision has been taken by the government.

Senior lawyer Rajeev Dutta, appearing for one of the petitioners, said the banks are capitalizing by taking interest on interest on existing loans.

“We are small people with small loans (less than Rs 2 crore). They should not compound the interest in these cases," Dutta said.

To this, the bench said it has already ordered that banks cannot declare NPAs.

“We have already passed an order prohibiting classification of NPA's and without a fiscal policy, proposals cannot be altered,” it said, while asking the Centre and banks association as to when the benefits would be implemented.

“For these modalities you require one-month time,” the bench asked.

Salve said, “The complexity is such, it requires time”.

The bench, however, said that the decisions taken by the authorities should be implemented now.

The top court is hearing the petitions, including the one which has sought a direction to declare the portion of an RBI notification, issued on March 27, "ultra vires to the extent it charges interest on the loan amount during the moratorium period..."

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently filed an affidavit in the apex court recently saying that loan moratorium exceeding six months might result in “vitiating the overall credit discipline”, which will have a “debilitating impact” on the process of credit creation in the economy.

These affidavits were filed following the top court's October 5 order asking them to place on record the K V Kamath committee recommendations on debt restructuring because of the Covid-19 related stress on various sectors as well as the notifications and circulars issued so far on loan moratorium.

It has also said that the apex court’s interim order of September 4, restraining classification of accounts into non-performing accounts in terms of the directions issued by the RBI, may kindly be vacated with immediate effect.

The Kamath panel had made recommendations for 26 sectors that could be factored by lending institutions while finalising loan resolution plans and had said that banks could adopt a graded approach based on the severity of the coronavirus pandemic on a sector.

Initially, the RBI on March 27 had issued the circular which allowed lending institutions to grant a moratorium on payment of instalments of term loans falling due between March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020, due to the pandemic.

Later, the period of the moratorium was extended till August 31 this year.


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