Indian M&E sector should leverage tech to unleash creativity: Sachin Pilot

MUMBAI: FICCI FRAMES 2011 went into business mode from the word go with the Union Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot urging industry players to leverage technology for unleashing the creative potential of young Indians, especially in rural areas tier III and IV towns.

Inaugurating the three-day convention, Pilot said that a speedy movement from analogue to digital technology was imperative as it would allow choice of content to the 750 million mobile phone users in the country as also help combat piracy, which was proving to be the main disability to creativity.

He said that the larger question before the government was to bridge the urban-rural divide. This could come about through the adoption of digital technology. At the same time, it would improve the efficiency and productivity of the people and contribute significantly to growth.

FICCI president Harsh Mariwala noted that Indian cinema has been a great unifying force in the country and helped fight the divisive forces that have used caste, religion and other social issues to serve their vested interests.

"FICCI continues to engage with the government on changes in FDI regulation in the Cable TV Act, on entertainment transactions to be treated at par with products like tobacco and alcohol without a separate tax at the local level, amendments to the Copyright Act and the Cinematograph Act and favourable taxation on Direct-to-Home (DTH)," Mariwala said.

Stewart Beck, High Commission of Canada to India and Bhutan, said that the digital economy offered a great opportunity to creative minds. "Canada considered this to be an opportune time to develop partnerships with India. If Canadian and Indian companies in the entertainment sector could come together, they would be able to unlock the huge potential offered by the sector," he said.

On the occasion, Pilot released the FICCI-KPMG Report on Indian Media and Entertainment for 2011 and the FICCI-Amarchand Mangaldas Entertainment Lawbook.