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FFI/074/2015
June 26, 2015
 
Shri Arun Jaitley
Hon’ble Minister of Finance, Information and Broadcasting, Corporate Affairs,
Government of India,
New Delhi – 110 001.
 
Dear Shri Arun Jaitley,

Greetings from Film Federation of India !

Hope this missive finds you in good health and fine spirits.
 
To begin with, the much anticipated relief under GST is that much closer with its passing in the Lok Sabha and we wait its tabling in the Rajya Sabha. We understand that once it’s subsumed, the Entertainment Tax will be pegged at 27% across states. However, I would like to draw your kind attention to a few anticipated hiccups in the workings of the entertainment tax wrt GST. In the euphoria of the moment, one important point which needs to be looked at is that many states in our country who have Nil tax or low tax. They will be greatly inconvenienced.

Take for example states like Punjab, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, where there is NIL tax. What happens to them ? Additionally there are other states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh there is no tax below 100/- ticket.

Then you have situations where regional films are taxed separately (often nil or miniscule tax) and Hindi films in the same state are taxed a certain percentage. States having strong regional content (the 4 Southern states, Maharashtra where Marathi films are tax free, Bengal etc.) are all part of this brigade. The 27% tax on regional films will be huge blow to the continued good health of this medium. As a policy, the Government has to encourage regional content…. How to balance this ?

Unifying the entertainment tax structure is a good step but there are drawbacks too as mentioned above. It is our earnest plea to the Government to do a thorough analysis of the pros and cons before implementing it.   

With regards,

J. P. Chowksey
President


 

FFI/059/2015
April 30, 2015

 
To,
Shri Narendra Modi,
Prime Minister of India
New Delhi.
 
Respected Prime Minister,

This is in continuation of my letter dated 24th February 2015. What warrants a second letter is that a new danger to Indian Film Industry has emerged recently. In our history of 102 years, we have sustained several calamities and faced several technological inventions and imbibed most of them to tackle crisis after crisis, but this new danger is two fold, i. e. influx of foreign forces and our traditional audience deserting our cinema because of superior technical finesse of Hollywood.      Its mainly because we release in limited areas and they release globally. Their budgets are enormous. Once we get wider release, we will be able to compete with them.

I believe that One Crore Thirty Six Lac Indians are working in other countries, most of them in USA. The NRI influence has changed Indian social fibre because most of them come to India for Indian bride. Therefore a lot of families are grooming girls to get married to NRI and sons to earn dollars. Because of this and other reasons, Indian Education system has adopted American syllabus. Today youngsters exposed to internet are well versed with American way of life. They prefer to watch Hollywood action films. What is shocking is that good socially relevant American films do not find viewers but their masala action is liked. So youth has opted for Hollywood `Masala’ neglecting Indian masala films made on comparatively smaller budget.

Sir, China had similar problems but they have created 65 thousand single cinemas and they allow only twenty American films every year and that too without dubbing. In India Hollywood films are dubbed in all languages and even Indian dialects. If this continues, within five years, Indian cinema will be wiped out.

China has dictatorship, we are democratic but we can ask them not to dub. However the real solution lies in the fact that we must build atleast thirty thousand single screen small cinema houses across the country. Right now we have only nine thousand cinemas. What this will do is influx of increased income for the film industry which in turn will benefit the Government with tax returns.

There are several ways to save Indian cinema.

We request you to give time to us so that we may give you details.

We are aware that you have several problems but saving Indian Cinema is also important.
In similar fashion, Hollywood destroyed European cinema. Sir save Indian cinema.

 

Warm Regards,

J. P. Chowksey
President

 
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