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India will be entertainment hub, says I&B minister

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India will be entertainment hub, says I&B minister

The first decade of the 21st century belongs to the entertainment industry. Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Ravi Shankar Prasad, in his inaugural address at FICCI Frames 2004 said every effort is being made to power the entertainment industry in the country. “India would be developed as an entertainment hub and the Government will facilitate the development of this industry on all fronts--films, television, radio and animation,” he said.

Prasad urged the Indian filmmakers to think big, and different. He said that Indian films are becoming a toast to the world.

Talking about the recent policy initiatives in the entertainment sector, the minister said the move to liberalise procedures for foreign film shoots in India had resulted in more foreign producers applying for permissions to shoot in India. In the last two and a half months alone, since the liberalized foreign policy was put in place, the ministry had received some ten applications, he said.

Announcing that Goa had been chosen as a permanent venue for the International Film Festival of India, the minister recalled that this decision had drawn praise at the Cannes film festival.

Prasad also extended a warm welcome to the Pakistani delegation. He called for a memorandum of understanding between the countries not just in commerce but also on “love and creativity”. This fusion of creativity would place the South Asian region on the world map of entertainment, he said.

With regard to the Radio industry in India, Prasad said that the task force recommendations have been presented to the Government and currently the ministry is looking it into. “We are going to be as liberal as possible and be a great facilitator to grow this industry,” he said.

During the course of the inaugural session, the Pakistani delegation led by Shaukat Zaman Khan, Chairman, Standing Committee on Film Production & Censor Issues, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI), and ex-Chairman, Pakistan Film Producers Association (PFPA), honoured Yash Chopra, eminent filmmaker and Chairman, FICCI Entertainment Committee, with a shawl.

The inaugural ceremony began with the welcome address by FICCI President Yogendra Kumar Modi. In his address, he said that FICCI was now confident that the Indo-UK synergy would take off in the months to come, to be bolstered by the co-production treaty that is waiting in the wings. This initiative, he said, was further enhanced by the presence of Tessa Jowell, MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sports Government of UK

Tessal Jowell in her address too acknowledged the strength of the British presence at FRAMES, led by the UK Film Council, and said this was a clear demonstration of “our recognition of the importance of the entertainment and media sector in India”.

The global entertainment industry is expected to grow at around 4.7 per cent till 2007, taking it to US$1.4 trillion. The Indian entertainment industry has hit new heights in 2003, having grown at a phenomenal 15 per cent, and is poised to grow at a compounded rate of 17 per cent in the next five years, Modi said earlier.

At the inaugural ceremony, the two knowledge partners Ernst & Young and Amarchand Mangal Das, the law firm released their reports on the Indian entertainment industry.

Actress and Member of Parliament Hema Malini and film star Preity Zinta too were present at the inaugural session.


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