FICCI offers revival package for multiplexes


MUMBAI: In order to breathe a new lease of life to the multiplex industry, which is weighed down by high level of taxes and government regulations, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) suggested a 10-point revival package including a cap of 16 per cent in entertainment tax across the country.


The multiplex industry at present contributes 70 per cent of all film revenues. However, India is among the highly under-screened countries in the world with only about 12 screens per million in comparison to 117 screens per million in the US.


“The archaic laws governing regulation of cinema and a highly burdensome tax regime are posing a serious challenge to the multiplex industry which contributes 70 per cent of all film revenues, leading to closure of cinema theatres and shutting out investment,” a FICCI statement said.


FICCI is mooting for standardisation and modernisation of cinema regulations under a Central Uniform Cinema Code to be applicable pan India. It also suggested removal of restriction on pricing and number of shows between 8 am and 1.30 am.


The industry body said that licensing should be under a ‘single-window’ clearance concept and digital distribution should be specifically permitted.


As far as entertainment tax is concerned, FICCI said that in order to mitigate concerns of adverse revenue impact on state finances, reduction may be done in phases over next three years.


“Despite being a country that is the highest film producer in the world and with the highest number of film admissions in the world, we also have the dubious distinction of being the highest ‘entertainment taxed’ country in the world,” said FICCI in a statement.