We should aim for the M&E industry to grow more than $100 bn by 2030: I&B secretary at Ficci Frames Fast Track’ 22

Proposed Cinematograph Act amendments to be tabled in the winter session of parliament, he added.

Mumbai: The union secretary for information and broadcasting Apurva Chandra has exhorted the media and entertainment industry to set a target of growing the industry to more than $100 billion by the year 2030. "India will be a $10 trillion economy in the next ten years. We should aim for a media and entertainment industry worth more than $100 billion by 2030. The ministry of information and broadcasting will do whatever it takes to support the M&E industry and help it grow." The secretary was addressing the inaugural session of Ficci Frames Fast Track 2022 in Mumbai on Tuesday, 27 September 2022.

The secretary announced that Invest India is going to be leveraged in order to bring in higher foreign investment into India in the film sector. "The ministry has merged various film units under one; NFDC, based in Mumbai, is going to be the hub of the cinematic arm of the government. With this, we want to revamp the Film Facilitation Office. We are going to hand this over to Invest India, the main investment arm created by the government under the leadership of prime minister Narendra Modi to attract industry to India. More than $100 billion of FDI is coming to India this year. We want to leverage Invest India to bring in foreign investment. We will reach out to foreign filmmakers to come to India."

The secretary informed that the government will work with states to facilitate and promote film shooting in India. "We recently announced an Incentive Scheme for Audio-Visual Co-production and an Incentive Scheme for the Shooting of Foreign Films in India at the Cannes Film Festival. With incentives given by states too, it becomes a viable and attractive package for filmmakers."

The secretary announced that the government of India will work with the states and formulate a 'Model Theatre Policy.' "Over the past five-six years, the number of theatres has been on a decline. We need to reverse this trend. We will assign the Film Facilitation Office to work with Invest India to come up with a single-window portal for opening theatres, so that more and more theatres can come up and the public can get more avenues to watch the magic of films in theatres. We will also work with the states to create a 'Model Theatre Policy,' so that the states can adopt and work on the same."

Observing that viewing habits of people have changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the secretary noted that when ticket prices were brought down to Rs 75 three days ago, all shows were full. "This shows that if price points are right, people can afford theatres. The craving to go to the theatre is there, so we need to work on how we can bring people back to theatres."

The secretary said that he had a fruitful meeting with some stalwarts of the film industry on Monday, on the proposed amendments to the Cinematograph Act. "All stakeholders present supported the proposed amendments for the introduction of anti-piracy provisions and age classification with the UA category." With the support of the film industry, we hope to table the amended bill in the winter session of parliament, he added.

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