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 10 years. We should target that the media and entertainment sector should grow to more than $100 billion by 2030. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will do whatever it takes to support the M&E sector and help it grow.”
The Secretary was addressing the inaugural session of FICCI Frames Fast Track 2022 in Mumbai on September 27, 2022.
Chandra further said that Prasar Bharati, in collaboration with IIT Kanpur has come up with a proof of concept where more than 200 channels can be watched and high-quality films can be watched on mobile phones without consuming data, using direct-to-mobile broadcast.
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 dollars 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. “Recently at Cannes Film Festival, we announced Incentive Scheme for Audio-Visual Co-production and Incentive Scheme for Shooting of Foreign Films in India. 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 5-6 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 gets 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 back, all shows were full. “This shows that if price points are right, people can afford theatres. The craving to go to the theatres is there, so we need to work on how we can bring people back to theatres.”
The Secretary told the industry that he had a fruitful meeting with some stalwarts of the film industry yesterday, on the proposed amendments to the Cinematograph Act. “All stakeholders present supported proposed amendments for the introduction of anti-piracy provisions and age classification with UA category.” With the support of the film industry, we hope to table the amended Bill in the winter session of the parliament, he added.