West Bengal govt announces financial assistance for single-screen cinema halls


The West Bengal government has announced financial assistance of 2 lakh to single screen- cinema halls which suffered extensive damage to property caused by cyclone Amphan, an official said.

An Information and Cultural Affairs department letter to Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) on Friday said the one-time financial package was being given in response to an appeal by the apex body of the producers and distributors forum of eastern India in August.

The government letter further announced that 1 lakh as a financial package to single screens which suffered partial damage in the calamity which lashed South Bengal districts in May this year.

“….This is to inform you after careful consideration the state government has decided to provide 2 lakh each to single-screen cinema halls that suffered major structural damage and 1 lakh each to single screen-cinema halls that suffered partial structural damage caused by the cyclone Amphan,” the notification said.

Cyclone Amphan, along with torrential rain, had struck parts of West Bengal on May 20, flattening houses, uprooting trees, snapping cables, and inundating low-lying areas.

In July, at a meeting with stakeholders of the film industry, including actors, technicians, producers and distributors, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said to an appeal, “As of now, reopening cinema halls is not possible. We can provide some assistance to cinema hall owners who have been affected by cyclone Amphan.”

The EIMPA had earlier appealed to the government for a financial package for the survival of the single-screens which are reeling under the twin cascading effect of COVID-19 and cyclone Amphan as the over 250 single-screen theatres continue to be closed since the third week of March, an office-bearer said.

The Centre is yet to announce any possible time frame for opening of single-screens and multiplexes which downed shutters since the third week of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

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