The 2019 Lok Sabha elections are now over and BJP has once again come out with the majority seats, in a historic victory which only says that the people still have their faith in PM Narendra Modi and that he can still improve and help India be better in every way. We in the industry would like to hope the same.

It was not too long ago that PM Modi made a few decisions that would benefit our industry. The government reduced the GST slab on film tickets, for tickets that are below INR 100 will have 12% GST on them and tickets above INR 100 will have 18% GST on it, as compared to 28% earlier. Which honestly came as a big relief and that 10% reduction also makes a lot of difference.

Not only that, they also have provisioned for single window clearance for film shooting for all Indian films across the country. It means that Indian filmmakers will now not have to gain multiple permissions to film at different locations. The government had also taken note of the huge losses the move industry incurs thanks to theatrical piracy and aims to introduce anti-cam cording measures in cinema halls to curb the same. Although still unclear on how they intend to do that, it is still a welcome effort on the part of government in stopping piracy.

While it’s really great what they have done and we are grateful to them, we can only hope they can help us make things even better for the industry. With two of the industry greats like Sunny Deol and Hema Malini winning Lok Sabha seats for BJP in their respective constituencies, we can only hope even more that things do improve even more.

The most important thing we require the Government’s help with is fighting piracy. Nothing hurts more and makes the industry bleed more than piracy. While they’ve already promised to help us fight piracy, we can only hope it happens very soon, as the film which releases today, for example, will be available to torrent download by the end of the day. We need hard steps to make sure we curb it and curb it for good.

Another thing that they can do is also reduce the GST slab a little more. While tickets that cost below INR 100 are taxed at 12%, the thought comes to my head is where do tickets even cost less than that. Wherever we go, the minimum cost for a ticket is 150, even for a matinee show. Even if the slab for tickets above INR 100 is reduced to 12% as well, it can make a huge difference on the prices and can also drive the audiences to the theatres.

These are the two things that I feel the government can improve upon even more and I am hoping that they do. I also hope the coming 5 years are much better and the government do good things not only for the industry, but for the country as well. I dream and yearn for the day where the tax slab is less and piracy is defeated in our industry. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

By – Amul Vikas Mohan

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