Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to address long standing issues of the Film industry

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in a significant meeting with the delegation of the Film & Television Producers Guild of India Ltd.(“Guild”), offers to address heartburning issues of the film industry in Maharashtra. Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan, Minister of Textiles & Minorities Development was also present at the meeting.

The delegation met with the Chief Minister on Monday, 9th June 2014 to thank him for granting retrospective exemption of VAT on Copyright through sale or lease of cinematographic film for theatrical purpose in the recent budget session in the state assembly.

The delegation comprised of Mukesh Bhatt, President – The Film & Television Producers Guild of India Ltd.(“Guild”), senior Guild members, Ramesh Sippy, Manmohan Shetty, Kamal Kumar Barjatya along with Chief Executive Officer of the Guild Kulmeet Makkar and also representing film distribution & exhibition sector, the president of IMPDA Ramesh Sippy of Raksha Entertainment was part of the delegation.

“Maharashtra has been the home for Hindi cinema for over 100 years and who else will look after interests of the Film Industry if not Maharashtra government” reiterated Mukesh Bhatt. He further adds “we have been voicing our concerns on the multiple tax related issues and serious challenges faced by the film makers to shoot films and television programs in Maharashtra”.

The entertainment tax of up to 45% levied on Hindi film industry in Maharashtra is amongst the highest in the country along with other taxes such as stamp duty on the contracts and now the fear of LBT if introduced may further impact the heavily taxed industry.

The representatives of the delegation also spoke about the growth potential of the film sector and employment opportunities this sector can generate if the state government offers to extend complete support by just simplifying tax norms and permissions to open more cinemas.

The Chief Minister was fully sympathetic with the film industry on the need to rationalize the tax structure and assured the delegation to address these issues on top priority. At the same time, the Chief Minister also appreciated the rightful consideration deemed to the film industry as a ‘Soft Power’ of the nation. He also concurred with the concern expressed by the delegation over the multi-prong challenges faced by the film industry in the State of Maharashtra despite the State being the birth place of the industry. He appreciated the need to grow cinema screens in the state by reducing number of permissions and approvals required to open a cinema hall. He was also positively inclined to simplify the processes for shooting clearances in Maharashtra in terms of formulating a single window mechanism.

Issued by The Film and Television Producers Guild of India Ltd

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