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Online film certification starts, 33% rise in 'shoot' permission

NEW DELHI: A total of 41 shooting Permissions were given for foreign films/projects in 2016 which was approximately 33% increase over 2015. Stating this, the information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu said his Ministry has been proactively taking initiatives to promote Ease of Doing Business in the Media & Entertainment Sector.

The Film Facilitation Office (FFO) established by the Ministry in November 2015 provided a Single window clearance to facilitate film shootings by foreign film makers in India.

The Annual Renewal process for existing TV channels has been simplified and permitted broadcasters can continue their operations by paying annual fee up to 60 days before the due date for continuation of the channel for a further period of one year. The payment can now be made online through Bharat Kosh Portal since 1 January 2017.

Launching the Online Film Certification System of the Central Board of Film Certification e-cinepramaan here, Naidu said it would facilitate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Ease of Doing Business and Digital India. The complete automation of the Film Certification Process would enable Good Governance making the entire process transparent and efficient. The objective is to eliminate the need for human interface to the extent possible.

The new system would be an important step in making the CBFC Office paperless and would enable effective monitoring and real time progress tracking for both CBFC Officials and the applicant (Producers).

More online initiatives would be introduced in the Ministry as part of the roadmap for transparent Governance.

Emphasizing on the need to keep pace with paradigm change in technology and current industry trends, Naidu said the Film Industry in India has been growing at a significant pace with a noticeable increase in the number of films getting released every year. The changes in the current processes of CBFC would ensure better facilitation and technological upgradation to match-up with the pace of Indian cinema.

On the issues of Film Certification, Naidu said the recommendations of the Shyam Benegal and Mudgal Committees were under consideration of the Ministry. Consultations with former Ministers had been held to elicit their views on critical issues of certification. It was also proposed to have further consultations with stakeholders in the film and media sector. Thereafter, necessary changes would be brought about in the certification process.

Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal Chairman Justice Manmohan Sarin gave an overview of the functioning of FCAT and the measures being taken by the body for facilitating the appeals.Minister of State for I and B Rajyavardhan Rathore, Ministry Secretary Ajay Mittal, CBFC CEO Anurag Srivastava and senior officials from the Ministry were also present on the occasion.

The online system has integrated the payments made by the producers towards certification fees with the Bharatkosh portal, a Government of India system for all Non-tax revenue receipts. It would be the First Software to fully integrate with the Bharatkosh.

The Salient features of the online film certification system are as follows:

· In the e-cinepramaan, the status of each application would be visible online in the dashboard of the producer/concerned CBFC official.
· In case of short films/promos/trailers less than 10 minutes, even for Examination purposes also, the producer need not visit the Office/Theatre. They can merely submit their creations online.
· For films longer than 10 minutes, the applicant will only have to show the film at the Examining theatre and will not have to visit the CBFC Offices at all except to collect their certificates.
· The producer/applicant would be informed by SMS/e-mail of the status of their application and any action needed, beginning from the receipt of application to the certificate collection.
· The transparency in the system and elimination of middle men would mitigate chances of any corruption and would also avoid allegations of jumping the queue or rigging up of Examination committees.
· The implementation of QR code on the certificates would eliminate chances of fraudulent certificates.
· The system envisages a robust MIS system for performance tracking and efficient reporting.
· The system has inbuilt alerts depending on the pendency of the application to ensure that time limits prescribed by the Rules are not violated.
· Simultaneously, a new CBFC Website has also been developed bringing in new user friendly features and important information at the click of a button.

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