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October 14, 2018

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Govt to mull over tax relief for local movies: Fawad

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Saturday said his ministry was focused on projecting the country's soft image abroad.

Talking to a group of film producers and exhibitors after being briefed about the local film industry here, he said the entertainment industry could prove to be the best source to highlight the state narrative and assured the producers and exhibitors that efforts would be made to give tax relief to local movies.

“There’s a need to improve the number and content of Pakistani movies in addition to increasing the number of cinema screens in the country,” he added.

Fawad was of view that there was a conflict of narrative in the local and foreign films.

"We have to improve our narrative and we will definitely encourage the Pakistani narrative."

He said cinema owners should also increase the gate money (ticket) for foreign movies. He said the federal government would impose tax on the international films to ensure promotion of Pakistani drams.

Fawad said he had talked to ambassadors of various countries to look into the possibility of collaboration in film production to enhance Pakistan's soft image among the comity of nations.

He said a Pakistani movie "Parwaz He Janoon" and two dramas "Hamsafar" and "Tanhaiyan" would be screened in Saudi Arabia, and three movies would be exhibited in China.

“The commercial counsellors working in Pakistani missions abroad have been asked to play role in finding out avenues for Pakistani movies in other countries, especially where Pakistani diaspora is in a large number, he added.

The minister said a cell was being established in the information ministry that would facilitate the film-makers in acquiring NOCs (No Objection Certificates) and liaising with the provincial governments.

He said work was also underway on a policy to streamline the procedure of censorship of films and rationalizing overlapping of work between provincial and central film censor boards. Regarding entertainment concerts, he said there should be 15 per cent tax on concert tickets so that the maximum number of people could be accommodated and facilitated.

He said copyrights of TV performances of actors/singers would be transferred to them so that they could get royalty of the work they had done in the past.

The Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority was being established merging the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Pakistan Press Council (PPC) and PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority), he said.

The minister said a state-of-the-art media university was being established in Islamabad.

Pakistan lacked trained and skilled manpower in media, especially in IT and digital/HD media, and the media university would also impart modern media knowledge to people attached with the media industry, he added.

He appreciated the fact that film exhibitors were also investing in film making and urged the film producers to keep playing their role in the revival of the film industry in the country by making good quality films.

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