The Union Secretary for Information and Broadcasting Apurva Chandra on Tuesday exhorted the media and entertainment industry to set a target of growing the industry to more than $100 billion by the year 2030. “India will be a $10 trillion economy in the next 10 years, we should target that the media and entertainment sector should grow to more than $100 billion by 2030. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will do whatever it takes to support the M&E sector and help it grow,’’ he said here in his address at the inaugural session of FICCI Frames Fast Track 2022.
The Secretary announced that Invest India is going to be leveraged in order to bring in higher foreign investment into India in the film sector. “The Ministry has merged various film units under one; NFDC based in Mumbai is going to be the hub of the cinematic arm of the government. With this, we want to revamp the Film Facilitation Office. We are going to hand this over to Invest India, the main investment arm created by the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to attract industry to India. More than 100 billion dollars of FDI is coming to India this year. We want to leverage Invest India to bring in foreign investment, we will reach out to foreign filmmakers to come to India,’’ he said.
The Secretary informed that the government will work with states to facilitate and promote film shooting in India. “Recently at Cannes Film Festival, the government announced Incentive Schemes for Audio-Visual Co-production and Shooting for Foreign Films in India. With incentives given by states too, it becomes a viable and attractive package for filmmakers,’’ he said.
Chandra announced that the Government of India will work with the states and formulate a Model Theatre Policy. “Over the past 5-6 years, the number of theatres has been on a decline. We need to reverse this trend. We will assign the Film Facilitation Office to work with Invest India to come up with a single-window portal for opening theatres so that more and more theatres can come up and the public gets more avenues to watch the magic of films in theatres. We will also work with the states to create a Model Theatre Policy so that the states can adopt and work on the same.”
Observing that viewing habits of people have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary noted that when ticket prices were brought down to Rs 75 three days back, all shows were full,’’ he said. He added that this shows that if price points are right, people can afford theatres. "The craving to go to the theatres is there, so we need to work on how we can bring people back to theatres," he said.
The secretary told the industry that the government hopes to table the amendments to the Cinematograph Act in the winter session of the parliament.
Chandra said that the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) Promotion Task Force constituted by the ministry of I&B will submit the report within the next 15 days or so. “We are compiling the reports of the sub Task Forces, and thereafter we will submit the recommendations and go through the process of adopting the report.” The Secretary told the industry that AVGC is the future. “The best of Hollywood films are now getting created in Bengaluru and other places, AVGC is the next revolution like the IT revolution 20 years back.”
The National Centre of Excellence for AVGC is going to be set up in collaboration with the private sector, the Secretary informed. “I am happy to inform you that we have taken the in-principle decision to set up the AVGC Centre of Excellence in collaboration with the private sector. We are proposing a 48% stake for the Ministry of I&B, 26% for FICCI and 26% for CII, so that it is the private industry and not the government which leads the AVGC transformation. We hope that the Ministry of I&B functions as a catalyst for the upsurge in the media and entertainment industry,’’ he noted.
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