In the wake of the announcement by the Uttar Pradesh government to set up a film city in Noida, Maharashtra government has announced that it will formulate a policy for the entertainment sector as well as declare rebate in shooting charges and expedite the procedure of extending industry status to the sector.
The decision to formulate a comprehensive policy was taken in a meeting chaired by cultural affairs minister Amit Deshmukh on Thursday.
The minister has asked Maharashtra Film, Stage and Cultural Development Corporation Limited (MFSCDC) to prepare a draft for the policy. “The comprehensive policy will cover all aspects dealing with various platforms such as films, theatre, documentaries, serials to over-the-top (OTT) content. It will be presented before the state cabinet for its final nod,” Deshmukh said.
He said the state cultural affairs department has also been directed to move the proposal to accord industry status to film sector so that it can get the benefits that small and medium industries get.
Manisha Verma, managing director of MFSCDC, said, “The policy will have a holistic approach towards all aspects related to the sector. We will consider simplification of taxation, increasing screens, fiscal incentives, changing technology besides generation of skilled manpower. It’s a labour intensive industry and has potential of job generation. All these aspects will be deliberated upon during a webinar with all stakeholders between November 5 and 7. Valid suggestions and recommendations that we will get during the deliberation will be incorporated in the policy.”
The government has also announced rebate in shooting charges at Goregaon film city up to 25% in the wake of the losses the sector sustained during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Sushama Shiromani, former president of Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association, said, “We welcome the move as the industry status will help in surviving the sector. But it should not remain just an announcement as we have been hearing them for years. The sector is going through a very bad face and it’s about time that the government do the needful. The policy should address all the problems the industry has been facing after new platforms have evolved in the past few years. We expect due deliberation with stakeholders before the final call is taken.”