Indian Film Industry to reap benefits in 2007-08 Fiscal Budget

Delhi : Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunshi, recently in New Delhi, had a detailed interaction with the Indian Film Industry representatives. He announced five core groups to study issues related to the film industry and give inputs ahead of the 2007-08 fiscal budget.

These five core groups shall comprise of representatives from the Film Industry, The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. They shall be examining issues related to export of films, piracy menace, film exhibition related issues such as multiplexes and single screen halls, promotion, development and preservation of archives as also tax-related concerns.

For a long time the largest film industry in the world, in terms of volume, was pleading for uniformity in entertainment taxes and custom duties and rules pertaining to film festivals held in India and abroad. The minister has hinted at scaling down the entertainment tax to 25 percent. Currently it is averaging at 37% across various states. He has said he is in touch with all the state governments regarding this issue. The minister has agreed that this industry needs support and momentum in the exhibition sector taking into consideration the inadequate number of cinema.

The entire exercise of attending issues related to the film industry comprises of three rounds. First one was held in New Delhi and the remaining two, having a more regional perspective shall be held in Chennai and Kolkata. The ministry aims at finalizing its view on the various issues and put up the case to the finance ministry when the consultations process for the next general budget begins.