To promote media and entertainment industry, government encouraging auto regulation and liberalizing security clearances: I&B Secy
Mr. Uday Shankar, CEO STAR India and veteran film maker Mr. Ramesh Sippy in conversation with I&B Secretary Mr. Sunil Arora at FICCI Frames 2016 in Mumbai. April 1, 2016
The Government of India was making a conscious effort to move towards less regulation of the media and entertainment industry and was encouraging auto regulation by industry, said Mr. Sunil Arora, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting at a keynote session on ‘Making India a Global M&E Hub’ on day three of FICCI FRAMES.
Mr. Arora said that the industry had time and again raised the issue of clearances. Hence the government was easing and liberalizing the process of security clearances to allow greater flexibility for the film fraternity. Speaking about the FM auctions, he said after the successful auction last year, a new set of rules have been submitted to the Cabinet for the next phase of FM radio auctions.
Underlining the challenges for making India a global M&E hub, Mr. Arora said that the theatre density of the country left a lot to be desired. There was a need to increase the number of theatres in the country. On the taxation side, he said that the levies would be rationalized automatically once the GST is in place.
Raising the issue of lack of domestic manufacturing of set top boxes, Mr. Arora said that the electronics industry needs to play a critical role in stepping up the production of set top boxes in India. Currently, in India less than 10 per cent set top were being manufactured domestically.
Mr. Arora said that that the government was committed to digitization and was moving towards it. The National Film Archives of India was working towards safeguarding the heritage of Indian cinema and was in the process of digitizing more than 1000 films.
Mr. Arora said that the government was setting up a Film Facilitation Office for enabling the industry and government in tandem. To promote the media and entertainment industry in the states, a new award ‘Most Film Friendly State’ had been conceived. He added that this year, Gujarat would be felicitated with the newly created award.
Highlighting the initiatives of the government to promote the media and entertainment industry in the country, Mr. Arora said that a Centre of Excellence for Animation, Visual Effects and Gaming was coming up at the Film City in Maharashtra besides a National Film Museum and Permanent National Photo Gallery.
Mr. Uday Shankar, Chairman, FICCI’s M&E Committee and CEO, STAR India and Mr. Ramesh Sippy, Co-Chairman, FICCI Media & Entertainment Committee, also shared their views.