Panel to look into Karnataka film industry problems

BANGALORE: The Karnataka government has decided to set up a committee of experts to look into the problems faced by the Karnataka film industry. A team of experts, elected representatives, officials and representatives of the film industry will be part of the committee that will come up with an integrated policy and programme document.

Announcing the decision during a discussion in the legislative assembly in Bangalore, the State water resources minister Mallikarjun Kharge also assured the industry that subsidy dues to the extent of Rs 30 million would be cleared.

BJP member Chandu, who initiated the discussion, wanted the Rs 30 million raised from the additional tax of Re.1, imposed on the exhibitors two years ago, to be used for the betterment of the industry as intended when the tax was imposed. Chandu also felt the framing of the show tax imposed for every screening of a film needed to be looked at afresh. This show tax was particularly harmful to exhibitors outside Bangalore and touring cinemas, who often had to shell out more than the worth of their infrastructure. Lack of definition of a proper policy and protocol results in an exhibitor charging unreasonably high, he felt.

Earlier, the industry had called for a strike on 23 July as the government didn't oblige the Kannada Film Producers Association's (KFPA) request to maintain the entertainment tax on non-Kannada films at 70 per cent (as was the case pre-budget) and instead reduced it to 40 per cent. The Kannada Film Producers Association (KFPA) had also demanded that the government should extend subsidy to all the Kannada films produced in the State, with the exception of remakes and sex and violence-dominated films.

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