Government has no plans to restructure Films Division

NEW DELHI: The Government has no plans to restructure the Films Division, but is adapting new technologies to keep it in line with the changing times.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told Parliament that the Division was digitising all its films to make them available easily to a larger audience. These will also be made available through newer technologies and different media like compact video discs and the Internet.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Division has digitised 7443 films out of a total of 8131 movies in its archives.

Ministry sources told that though the Expenditure Reforms Commission had recommended closure of the Division, the Ministry’s protest was considered by the Committee of Secretaries which in April 2004 recommended downsizing of the manpower in the Division.

Consequently, the strength of the Division was reduced by 336 from 1177 in May 2002 to 841 at present. The Finance Ministry also gave its approval to this move.

Meanwhile, the Division has launched a new scheme under the 11th Plan for production of documentary films with a plan allocation of Rs 200 million.

The Division has a total plan outlay of Rs 161.43 million for production of in-house and outside production, apart from a Plan allocation of Rs 47 million for the Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, short and animation films held every two years. The next one is being held from 3 to 9 February 2010. In addition, there is a separate plan allocation of Rs 420 million for the Museum of the Moving Image being set up within the premises of the Division in Peddar Road in Mumbai.

The annual allocation for the Division for the last three years was Rs 66.102 million in 2006-07, Rs 65.652 million in 2007-08, and Rs 53.257 million in 2008-09.

The Division produced 46 films and 15 news magazines during 2008-09, as compared to 57 films and 11 news magazines the year before, and 48 films and 16 news magazines in 2006-07.

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