NE­GLECTED AGAIN: NO BUD­GET FOR BOL­LY­WOOD

The film frat says there was no em­pha­sis on the en­ter­tain­ment sec­tor

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Monika Rawal monika.rawal@hin­dus­tan­times.com ■

KAILASH KHER, Al­though we add a heavy per­cent­age to the rev­enue, no­body takes us se­ri­ously... The gov­ern­ment only fo­cuses on in­creas­ing the ser­vice tax

The Union Bud­get 2017-18 might have ad­dressed con­cerns of farm­ers and ru­ral pop­u­la­tion, and of­fered bet­ter­ment for the salaried class, but the film fra­ter­nity is fum­ing. No ex­emp­tion of en­ter­tain­ment tax, no re­lief af­ter de­mon­eti­sa­tion that af­fected film rev­enues, and not even a men­tion of the film in­dus­try — film celebs say the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try is only ne­glected, year af­ter year.

Film­maker Hansal Me­hta says, “As long as film­mak­ers are pay­ing taxes, noth­ing both­ers the gov­ern­ment as we are very com­pli­ant.” Trade an­a­lyst Amul Mo­han adds, “Bol­ly­wood has a ma­jor­ity of tax-pay­ing in­di­vid­u­als. But no re­lief has ever been of­fered. I can’t even re­mem­ber the last great re­form the in­dus­try was given on a bud­get day.”

For years, Bol­ly­wood has been at log­ger­heads with en­ter­tain­ment tax. Dis­trib­u­tor San­jay Ghai says the gov­ern­ment ex­pects a lot from film in­dus­try but re­turns noth­ing. “When have they ever paid at­ten­tion to us that they will now? They loot us.”

Singer Kailash Kher adds that no­body takes the cre­ative in­dus­try se­ri­ously. “The gov­ern­ment doesn’t see that this in­dus­try adds to a large per­cent­age of In­dia’s growth and they should take us into ac­count and sup­port us.”

Film­maker Ku­nal Kohli, how­ever, says it’s a two-way process. “As an in­dus­try, we need to widen our as­so­ci­a­tion and put our de­mands across. But those from the fra­ter­nity and now in pol­i­tics should also rep­re­sent us as an in­dus­try.” Ac­tor-film­maker Piyush Mishra also has a dif­fer­ing opin­ion. “Bol­ly­wood does not re­quire any­body’s sup­port to run. We have in­de­pen­dent pro­duc­ers who put in money and make prof­its for them­selves.”

SINGER For the last twenty years, the film in­dus­try hasn’t even been re­garded as an in­dus­try by the gov­ern­ment in the Union Bud­get. Clearly, films are not their pri­or­ity HANSAL ME­HTA, FILM­MAKER Bol­ly­wood is an au­ton­o­mous in­dus­try. So I’m not sure if we have any­thing to do with the bud­get PIYUSH MISHRA, AC­TOR-FILM­MAKER We are a very small in­dus­try given the larger per­spec­tive, so we have to make our voice heard our­selves KU­NAL KOHLI, FILM­MAKER

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