Talking about the importance of the issue, Siddarth Roy Kapur, President of FTPGI, said here: “A rate of 5 per cent GST on film tickets and copyright transfers will be in keeping with global taxation norms for the film sector and will go a long way in ensuring the long-term health of the industry.”Due care should also be taken to ensure that the film industry does not suffer from an inverted duty structure as is the case under the current service tax legislation.”
Considering the fact that many single screen cinemas are shutting down due to dipping footfalls, and lack of investment is affecting the growth of the Indian film industry, Kulmeet Makkar, CEO of the Guild said: “We would like to urge the government to consider film industry as a revenue generating industry that not only provides entertainment but employment to many sectors.
“As an industry we can grow, if only we can earn more... So, a lower rate of 5 per cent GST will attract more investors to come and invest in cinema industry that will help it to grow and generate more revenue.”
Makkar said, “Dangal is one of the highest grossing films of 2016 which earned a box office revenue of over Rs 385 crore whereas only 4 per cent of the population went to watch the film in the theatre. Now, imagine how much as a film industry we can earn if that percentage will go higher?”
With a majority of the country’s population being the youth who prefer to watch films online rather than going to theatres, isn’t the dip in footfall an obvious consequence? Kapur said: “Given the accessibility, audience always want to have a theatrical experience. If we look abroad, where people have the best access to digital media, cinema survived there as well.”
On the potential of film industry in revenue generation and why entertainment industry has not been taken seriously by the government, Kapur said: “I don’t think in India, the film industry has been taken seriously in the past, but what we are trying to communicate is the potential of film to sell the story of our country to the world.