Govt to soon announce SOPs for filming in India, clearance received from health ministry: Joint Secretary, I&B Ministry

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New Delhi: Ms TCA Kalyani, Joint Secretary (Films), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, today said that the government will soon be announcing incentives under the champion services sector shortly. ?We are going to announce the SOPs for filming in India and we have got the health ministry’s clearance regarding the same,? she added.

Addressing the FICCI webinar ‘The Economic Impact of the Media & Entertainment Sector: A post-COVID-19 Lens & The Way Forward’, organized during ‘FICCI FRAMES 2020’, Ms Kalyani said that Media and Entertainment industry has always adopted a host of technological advancements. ?We have a huge capacity for domestic consumption. In pre-COVID times, more than 2 million cinema tickets were sold on an average, daily. With social distancing norms, even half that number would be great for starting the business of film exhibition. There has also been a steady growth in content export, investment in production facilities and technology in animation, VFX, etc.,? she added.

Ms Kalyani further added that the pandemic has appended all assumptions of usual business for the global economy, but it has only sharpened the market trends that were already visible before the health crisis, such as the increasing demand for digital services. ?For the Media and Entertainment industry, this means faster transition to digital mediums and more pressure to compete for consumers as well as for advertisers and subscription revenue,? she stated.

She added that the incentives under the champion sector scheme will be open to not only film shooting but also for TV and web series filming. Foreign filming in India since 2016, Ms Kalyani informed, has contributed nearly US $ 64 million with 76 completed productions so far.

Speaking about the internet revolutionizing the entertainment sector, Ms Kalyani said that India has enabled digital transformation by increasing economic freedom for the traditional Media and Entertainment businesses to operate. They are also nudging the industry for a better quality of service. ?The best example for this is that the OTT segment has grown phenomenally during the pandemic,? she added.

The Media and Entertainment sector through innovation consistently has the potential to create jobs, especially in new areas of animation, gaming, etc. The government has allowed 100 percent FDI in film content productions. This sector has the potential to create thousands of jobs including opportunities for the skilled and semi-skilled workers, she said.

Citing the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s India Global Week 2020 address, where he said that India is laying a red carpet for all global companies to come and establish their presence here, Ms Kalyani said that very few countries will offer the kind of opportunities that India does today. ?We have opened doors for filming in the country, easing the permission process, a single film visa and we are also going to streamline and facilitate single window clearance systems,? she said.

Mr Jonathan Olsberg, Chairman, Olsberg – SPI, said that the ‘Global Screen Production’ report states that in 2019, the global expenditure on-screen production reached a new high of $ 177 billion, which put it almost twice the size of the electric car manufacturing industry. There was an increase of $ 414 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA) and created 14 million jobs around the world. The Covid-19 shutdown resulted in a loss of $ 145 billion in economic impact over the first six months of 2020 and 10 million global screen sector value chain FTE jobs. He also mentioned that various governments have already identified Screen Production as a key component of economic recovery and many of them have created measures to encourage productions to restart.

Mr Uday Singh, Managing Director, Singular Pictures, citing the FICCI report that was released earlier in the day, said that the Media and Entertainment sector contributed to $ 50 billion in GVA, created 2.6 million (direct and indirect) jobs and the economic value added was over $ 25 billion.