Ambika Soni calls for national-level plan to stem film piracy


    MUMBAI: Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni has said that film and video piracy are the principal banes of entertainment industry in the country.

    Speaking at the opening day of the two-day business conclave on ‘Media & Entertainment’ being organised by FICCI in Chennai, Soni observed that widespread piracy ‘puts to zero’ the efforts and investments that are made to entertain the country and Indian diasporas abroad.

    Soni said that the issue needs to be addressed with firm hand. "It is not acceptable that some people work, some earn foreign exchange for the country, some sweat and toil to entertain the countrymen and people across the world but a few unscrupulous elements draw the benefits of that in illegal manner. This is not just acceptable." she said.

    She added that the whole issue needs to be a matter of joint concern of the states and centre. She requested Tamil Nadu chief minister Dr. M Karunanidhi to help the centre in drafting some act or law towards this aim so that the centre can ask the other states to follow.

    The Union Minister has convened a meeting of State Information Ministers in New Delhi on 5 December to discuss various issues related to the entertainment industry, including piracy.

    Soni said that the government of India is keen to open up wider opportunities for Indian films. "Government is making its efforts in as many international film-centric events as possible. The efforts will be beyond festivals like the ones at Cannes, Berlin, etc. We will tie up with FICCI and other organisations and the film production houses across the country for an effective public-private partnership mode to ensure that there is international market for Indian film industry," she said.

    I&B minister said that the Indian media and entertainment industry, which showed a turnover of Rs 584 billion last year, is expected to grow by 12.4 per cent next year. The sector is projected to grow at 12.5 per cent in coming five years and is expected to reach an annual turnover of Rs 1052 billion.