During the recently held general elections when the Prime Minister of India Dr. Man Mohan Singh had paid a visit to Mumbai; he had a special meeting with Subhash Ghai wherein he was apprised about the problems that the industry was facing. An assurance was given to him that the problems would indeed be looked into, however in the 100 days agenda of the present government no mention is being made about giving some thought to the problems being faced by the industry and having an action plan to provide a solution to it.
Presently the entertainment industry is indeed at the cross roads and there needs to be a policy direction that should be provided through the budget which the present government would be presenting to the country in a short while from now. One of the most pressing demands of the industry has been the issue of taxation, or the manner and the quotient of entertainment tax that is levied on the pictures. The tax component forms quite a major chunk of the ticket rate and if the tax rates are reduced it could have a far-reaching effect. The reduction in the rate of tax would mean that the ticket rates would come down, and this would bring more audience to the cinema hall and lead to more accumulation of tax in the long run. May be, the industry body, as they have entered into an agreement with the multiplex owners for differential revenue sharing, can also give a proposal on the same lines to the government about progressive tax regime.
Another menace that the country has to contend with is digital piracy of the content. Though there are demonstrative efforts that are organized to supposedly curb down the menace, it needs to be done on a sustained basis. When most of us are aware that the pirated CDs that are bought from the streets provide stimulation for anti-national activities a drive needs to be created from the government side and some kind of policy direction is indeed required. The problem is that the cost of the pirated copies is so cheap that there always is a temptation to view it at home instead of paying three-four times to view a movie in the cinema hall. So, there is a linkage of this issue with the issue cited above, i.e. of organizing efforts to bring down the ticket rates.
Every budget provides incentives for setting up of new industries; why not provide a stimulus in the form of incentives to the industry to shoot in the hitherto unreached areas of the country by extending logical and infrastructural support. If it were done, apart from creating local employment, it would also facilitate in bringing new facets of country on the silver screen, thereby creating new areas for potential exploitation as tourist centers.
To begin with for a new government if a small beginning is made by the present government in terms of definite policy intervention is made by the government it would indeed go a long way in conveying the message to the industry that indeed government is alive to its tribulations and problems.