As Maharashtra is witnessing a drastic change in its political scenario with a new government forming, the Film and Television Producers Guild of India, which is a body that aims to promote the development of the Indian Film and Television Industry in India, took this opportunity to highlight some of the key issues and challenges faced by the industry, which they believe are not only detrimental to the growth of the industry but will result in an inevitable breakdown of the entire film industry.
The entertainment capital of India - Mumbai has been the centre of the Indian entertainment industry since its inception and this industry provides employment directly or indirectly to almost 5 million people in the country. However, serious implications caused by the various archaic laws and heavy burden of taxation on the Hindi film sector has stunted the growth of this industry and made several stalwarts displeased with the system, says the Guild.
The high taxes imposed on the Hindi Film Industry in the state, like the Entertainment Tax on films, applicability of VAT on Television production business, Stamp Duty and to keep local bodies taxes out of the proposed GST, have cast a dark spell for the ‘Film Guild’. The absence of single window mechanism has resulted in systematic harassment and malpractices over the years, and has increased costs for the producers thereby significantly discouraging producers from shooting in the state. In addition to this, the lack of adequate cinema halls in the state (much lower than southern states) has hampered the growth of the film industry and directly resulted in increase in piracy and loss of revenues to the government, as well as the industry, according to the Guild.
Speaking about the various concerns weighing down the industry, Mukesh Bhatt, President of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India said, “Maharashtra has always been the home for the Hindi film industry. Sadly, we have been made to feel like an orphan in our own home state. Leave aside any support; we are penalized for making films in a language which does not belong to any other state in the country including Maharashtra. The impartial treatment given to Hindi film industry in our own state in the past is obvious when it comes to the high tax structure, archaic laws and multiple complications restricting growth of the film industry in the state.”
However, showcasing hope in the new chapter in the history of the politics in Maharashtra, he added, “We are confident that the new BJP government in Maharashtra will address these pending issues and help the film industry achieve newer heights.”
Mumbai has been the dream city for a lot of Bollywood actors, who have carved their space in the history of cinema and in the hearts of their fans over the years. It’s time that the entertainment industry is rewarded for all these years of service to the people and required changes be made in the system, as they hinge their hope on the newly elected BJP government.