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TV Prog. and advertisement board

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Friday, May 26, 2006

New Delhi (UNI): The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has mooted constitution of a Programme and Advertising Board to function as a regulatory body for entertainment television channels in the country. According to a survey of the entertainment sector, the PHDCCI said that while television is one of the better paymasters, the growth of the industry needs to be regulated in terms of the quality of programmes. Commenting upon the growth of television industry in India, the PHDCCI said starting from a single channel in 1993, today the television industry has over 280 channels, with a new TV channel emerging every two months. ''Today, television is viewed across over 100 lakh homes in India and is the leader for entertainment in the electronic medium for entertainment,''it said.

However, despite tremendous growth, the industry faces large number of problems such as lack of infrastructure on ground, lack of proper cable network and support bandwidth. The PHDCCI survey said the total size of the Indian entertainment industry today was Rs 25,000 crore and was expected to increase to Rs 35,000 crore by the 2010. ''The entertainment industry is an important source of employment not only for the educated but also for skilled and semi skilled workers,'' it added. It has vast export potential,''the survey added.

Highlighting the issues plaguing the industry, the PHDCCI said the entertainment industry was burdened with high and multiple taxes levied across the country. ss''The rate of entertainment tax ranges between 25 and 75 per cent. However, tax on films should not exceed 20 per cent. Currently, only Himachal Pradesh has the lowest rate of 20 per cent amongst the Northern states.'' it said.

It said exemption from entertainment tax and other levies have been given to multiplexes for five years in most states, these should also be extended to single screen cinemas. Commenting on the significant potential of the Indian entertainment industry, the chairman of the entertainment commite of the PHDCCI Sandeep Marwah said shooting of films at locations within India continues to be a major hassle due to procedural hurdles, security concerns, lack of incentives and absence of a single window clearance system. He expressed the need to provide a single window mechanism to promote shooting of both Indian and foreign films in the country. This would benefit the tourism sector significantly, Mr Marwah added.

In this context, he pointed to concessions and facilities provided by other countries like the UK, Singapore and Switzerland which have greatly encouraged shooting of Indian films abroad. There was a need to decentralize entertainment activity away from Mumbai and North India, he said. Mr Marwah suggested that a film production centre be set up in Delhi to encourage more programmes being produced in the national capital.

Expressing the need for Indian films to expand their reach in global markets, Mr Marwah said,''India should go beyond catering to the overseas Indian community by creating entertainment for diverse consumers in different markets. This can be achieved by focusing upon content creations, operations, distribution network, technology development and deployment, intellectual property rights protection and marketing.''id.

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