Kisan Channel wins accolades, film industry asks for entertainment tax parity

NEW DELHI: “This is the only channel of this kind in the whole world, which is dedicated to the farmers and their welfare. It is serving more than 65 per cent of the Indian population, which stays in villages and is in agricultural business in India.”


With this citation, the International Chamber of Media and Industry presented a special Award to Doordarshan’s Kisan Channel.


The citation was read out by ICMEI founder-president Sandeep Marwah at the inaugural function of the International Media And Entertainment Summit here. Delegates from 30 countries attended the summit.


“We are thankful to the chamber for considering the efforts of our team to start something unusual but the most needed for the nation,” said Naresh Sirohi, who is advisor to the channel.


“It is a great moment for the team of Kisan Channel to receive its first award. I am happy that the media and entertainment industry has understood the need of Kisan Channel, which is only of its kind in the world,” said Doordarshan ADG Ranjan Mukherjee, who heads the channel.


The award was handed over to the officers jointly by Bharatiya Janata Party senior vice president Shyam Jaju Senior and Marwah.


Senior advocate Lalit Bhasin, who heads the Indo American Camber of Commerce, American deputy minister counselor economic, environment, science & technology affairs Peter Kemp, Indian Motion Indian Picture Producers Association president T P Aggarwal and Film Federation of India president J.P.Chowskey were also present.


Jaju said, “The role of media is very essential in a developing economy. But it should not cross its limits. Entertainment has a very important place in our life.”


“Comparing Indian media and entertainment industry of the United States, Bhasin said, “We have yet to grow at the level of America, both quantity wise and quality wise. We have to be more responsible in our actions.”


“India is the largest film producing country in the world. We make around 2000 films in a year. The turnover of the film industry is going to touch Rs 12,000 crore. The industry is surviving because the passionate people, they are deriving it to its best,” said Marwah.


“When there is no tax on cinema and other entertainment segments downloaded from internet why should it be imposed on cinema at theatres where much more efforts are involved. Where film industry is helping so many other industries to grow simultaneously,” added Marwah.


“Most of the films are not doing well; we very rarely get our money back. Seventy five per cent of the films are in losses. Many producers have stopped making films, as recovery is difficult. Government should understand the point of view of Producer who is the real entrepreneur,” said Chowksey.


“Every one who is working for cinema right from actors to spot boy gets their remuneration even before the release of the film. The producer is always at the risk. We need government support in reducing entertainment tax so that large number of people can watch cinema,” added Agarwal.


All the film organisations have joined hands to pursue with the government to reduce the tax rates and bring all India entertainment tax at par to give same rebate to producers.


Representatives of FFI, IMPPA, Film Craft, Western India Film Producers Association, Film Makers Combine will write a joint application to the Government very soon, informed ICMEI secretary general Ashok Tyagi.


Marwah, who is chairperson of the IACC Media and Entertainment Committee, initiated the discussion by quoting figures from the Indian media and entertainment industry. “We are one of the biggest industries and we need more synchronisation and planning in developing and promoting this industry so that we can be more helpful to the government as well as to the large audience of this country.”


“The business may look glamorous but the hard work and investment in the entertainment business is huge. The Government has to come down to support the industry by way of reducing taxes,” said Chowskey.


Agarwal added, “We are ready to join hands on all issues, which are for the benefit of the industry. ICMEI is a strong platform to remind the government about our concerns.”


“The American market of media and entertainment is in the hands of private people. The demand and supply measures the quantum of business. The industry is huge and we have catered to international business for their survival,” said Kemp.

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