MUMBAI: Producers Mukesh Bhatt, Subhash Ghai, Manmohan Shetty and Ratan Jain met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Mumbai over a thirty minute long discussion at Grand Hyatt hotel to give the PM an insight into the most serious issue facing the film industry, due to which the release of movies have come to a standstill.
Speaking to Businessofcinema.com, Bhatt says, "We met the Prime Minister today and have explained to him the entire issue between producers, distributors and multiplexes. We have requested him to form a committee at the Information & Broadcasting Ministry level to regulate the film industry’s problems."
Giving an insight into the meeting, Bhatt says he also briefed the Prime Minister about 1990s when with the advent of TV and video, the film industry suffered a rough patch and the audience stopped coming to cinemas to watch films. The government then took charge of the situation and came to the rescue of the film industry and gave tax holidays to develop multiplexes. Many people capitalized on this and built cinemas, but today instead of helping the industry, these cinemas are cleaning producers out of the industry. They are pricing their tickets so high that the common man cannot even afford to watch movies in a cinema hall, which is further giving rise to piracy.
Bhatt says, "The PM heard us patiently and I really appreciate that. He also said that it was not possible to look into this on a priority basis due to the ongoing elections. But he has understood that this problem needs to be addressed on a priority basis after the elections, if Congress comes back to power."
But what if it doesn’t? "Then we will talk to the government that comes to power that time," says Bhatt.
Bhatt further informs that producers have suggested to Singh that the current core committee of producers and distributors be a part of I&B Ministry’s committee and Mukesh Bhatt be its chairperson.