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Multiplex Association seeks waiver of rent

NEW DELHI: Cinema halls and multiplex operators have asked the landlords and developers of the malls to completely waive the rent and common area maintenance (CAM) for the lockdown and recuperating period.

According to Multiplex Association of India (MAI), unlike other industries, the cinema operators has "zero" revenue during the lockdown period and before it when the several state governments had asked to close the halls to contain the spread of coronavirus.

"We will be unable to survive as an industry through this period of lockdown and recuperating, without your support. We seek your support in granting us complete waiver from payment of rent & CAM dues during the lockdown and recuperating period, to help us tide over this unprecedented situation which is completely beyond our control," said MAI President Deepak Asher in a statement.

According to the association, even after lifting of the lockdown, the cinema exhibition industry would take time to stand again.

"While the lockdown may continue for the next month or two, the cinema industry will take several months ("recuperating period") even after the lockdown is lifted, to get back to its feet, as the pipeline of content begins to flow again, and our patrons gain the confidence to step out of their homes and start visiting crowded places like cinemas," Asher said.

MAI claims to represent over 18 regional and national multiplex chains and represent around 90 per cent of the multiplex industry in India. Its members operate more than 600 multiplexes with more than 2,900 screens across the country.

Many cinema halls were closed even before the lockdown period started.

Several state governments including Delhi,Kerala, J&K,Maharastraetc had directed to close the cinema halls till March 31, 2020.

Later the government had directed a lockdown of the country effective from March 25.

India is presently going through an unprecedented complete lockdown of three weeks, ending on April 14, to prevent the spread of the virus.

According to the latest report from the Union Health Ministry, the total number of COVID-19 cases is 3,374 and the death toll is now 79.

April 06, 2020

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