Entertainment tax system to be revamped: Dasmunsi

NEW DELHI: Addressing the media and entertainment industry delegates present at ASSOCHAM’s Focus 2007 conclave, minister of information and broadcasting Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said that the future policy for the entertainment industry would be decided by mid January at a plenary to be held in Mumbai.


For this, five committees had been set up earlier this year around digitization, piracy etc.


“Of the five committees, I have sat with four and heard them. We still have to talk with one more. The committee will make its presentation in Chennai in early January and then, all of them will meet at a plenary at Mumbai where the crucial decisions will be taken,” he said.


The minister also said that he was working on tax reduction and incentives for digitisation and other issues, as per suggestions from the industry. “The entire tax structure for the Indian entertainment and media industry will be overhauled soon to help it attain global standards,” he said.


Pointing out the challenges that the industry is facing today, he said. “The first challenge that the industry has been facing is on the technological front. Overall digitization is a big thing for the industry to absorb,” he said.


Secondly, Dasmunsi addressed the exchange programmes being signed between India and other countries. He said, “Currently, countries sign with India and come here because the cost of resources in India is less, but the infrastructure is not adept. There is a need for substantial change in the infrastructure.”


Elaborating further he added, “Even if a foreign crew may come here for shooting, the support offered to them or the technical team is minimalist; transport also is an issue here, which needs to be looked into.”


Thirdly he said that there should be exchange of ideas between Indian labs and those of other countries. “There should be no difference between in European, Hollywood, Chinese or Indian work. China in particular is improving a lot,” he said.


Dasmunsi further delved into the issue of piracy. “Not many people can afford to go to multiplexes, which pave way for piracy. One of the ways to fight it is to increase digital installations in the country, which will not only help fight piracy but also make product available at a cheaper rate. Digitization is essential,” Dasmunsi stated.


Dasmunsi said that the structural changes will help the industry grow to over Rs 750 billion in the next few years.


On a concluding note, Dasmunsi also encouraged media companies to send presentations for budget beneficiation, which will soon be chalked out with the finance minister.