Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu said the Union Cabinet has approved the Model Shops and Establishment Act, facilitating round-the-clock working hours aimed at generating employment prospects by allowing cinema halls, restaurants, shops, banks and other such workplaces to remain open 24/7.
Speaking to the representatives of the Media and Entertainment (M&E) sector, he said all their concerns would be resolved by the Government in a time bound manner. Considering the growth prospects of the Indian M&E industry for the economy, he assured that the concerns of the industry regarding new tax rates in the GST structure would be conveyed to the Finance Minister.
Addressing the CEOs Round Table Meeting organized by FICCI, the minister said a comprehensive review of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 including Copyright and IPR Protection issues, was under consideration in the light of the reports submitted by Mukul Mudgal and Shyam Benegal. It was imperative to believe in “responsible creativity” where in the censor rules and regulations could be weaved into social norms which affected the social fabric of the nation.
On the issue of Improving Screen Density in India, the Minister said that the reach of cinema was limited to a small segment and thus provided an immense opportunity for the film industry to tap the regional markets and cater to the needs of consumers by developing content in local and regional languages.
He assured that the issue has been taken up with the Multiplex Association of India to formulate Model Rules for building and operating cinema halls which once received would be shared and discussed with all the State Governments in the coming State Information Minister’s Conference scheduled in December. The State Governments would be requested to look into the matter and ease out the process in order to increase screen density throughout the country.
On the issue of grant of permissions to TV Channels, the Minister said that the Ministry had taken the initiative to streamline the processes and procedures in the broadcasting sector. He also mentioned about the E-Auction of the Second Batch of Private FM Radio Phase III Channels commenced a week ago. 266 FM Channels in 92 cities comprising 227 channels in 69 fresh cities and 39 unsold channels from 23 cities of batch I of Ph-III had been put on auction in the second batch.
The Minister said plans are afoot to set up a National Centre of Excellence for Media, to provide training to the industry professionals. The Ministry was also in the process to setup a Film Promotion Fund to support movies, including Bollywood and Regional films, for participation in foreign film festivals.
The audio-visual co-production agreements signed by the Government would help film industry to explore more resources and share best practices. He mentioned that the Cabinet has recently given approval to the agreement between India and Republic of Korea.