GOA: The 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) kicked off in Goa this evening. At the opening ceremony of the festival, veteran filmmaker and chairman of Yash Raj Films – Yash Chopra voiced his woes on the immense tax burden that the Indian film industry has been facing. Stating that the despite Indian cinema going places and young Indian filmmakers winning global accolades, the government still meted out step-motherly treatment to the film industry.
Chopra said, “Indian cinema is going places. Our young filmmakers are doing some great work and are winning global accolades. It is bringing so much recognition to our country. But what is the government doing for us? The film and entertainment industry is still being given the step motherly treatment. We are burdened with multiplex taxes – entertainment taxes, GST, copyright, VAT, stamp duty and many more to come. If some of these taxes get implemented, it will be very difficult to make films. Some very serious taxes are going to be executed by the government and if they are going to be implemented, which they will be… we may not be able to make films at all. The government must wake up before it becomes too late. We will be celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema in 2013, but it may be too late then.”
In response to Chopra’s comments, the chif guest for the evening Government of India minister of railway Mamata Banerjee said, “I love the Indian film industry and it has so much talent that it can compete with the world film industry. I will pursue the tax issue that Yash Chopra spoke about as I have the ability to do so. This matter is related to the finance ministry and I will talk to Pranab-da (Pranab Mukherjee) as soon as I reach Delhi. Let us work together from grass-root to glamour world. We can fight for you and let us work together.”
Chopra, Banerjee, actor Ajay Devgn and other dignitaries from the government and entertainment industry declared the IFFI open with the ceremonial lighting of the lamp.
IFFI runs from 22 November – 2 December in Goa.