The advent of the goods and services tax (GST) regime will sort out most of the taxation issues affecting the film industry, Manish Tewari, information and broadcasting minister, said on Friday.
Addressing an Infocom-Assocham meet, Tewari said the government was considering streamlining the entire film certification process in the wake of some complaints to make it “more transparent and user friendly”.
“Most of the tax issues which continue to muddle the growth of the film industry are really state-related and I think as we go into the GST regime, you would find most of these tax issues would get resolved,” Tewari said. He hailed the ongoing digitisation process as a “game changer” for all stakeholders but said, it needs to be ensured that no one feels “shortchanged” with the roll out process.
He also said all stakeholders should be involved in the process of building revenue models of the broadcasting industry and the multi-system operators so as to bring about greater amount of transparency in the process.
Drawing attention to the present TV viewership measuring system, Tiwari encouraged the broadcasting sector to move towards a TRP system being designed by the Broadcasting Audience Research Council (BARC). Tewari said the existing model where there are 70 crore households but only 8,000 boxes for measuring viewership “is not only unfair to the broadcasting industry but also unfair to the advertisers”. According to the I&B minister, the central government has moved to set up a judicial committee to make it more robust and ensure that movies do not get stuck after clearances by the film certification board. The committee is re-looking at the Cinematograph Act following the row over Kamal Haasan’s movie Vishwaroopam