(FICCI FRAMES, Day 3)
MUMBAI, March 27, 2015. The Government of Maharashtra by the end of April proposes to finalize the AVGC (Animation, Visual Effect, Gaming and Comic) Policy and ESDM (Electronic System Design & Manufacturing) Policy. The AVGC Policy envisages an environment to promote growth of indigenous digital content, education and entertainment for masses whereas the ESDM Policy proposes interest free term loans, assistance for cost of quality certification and setting up of Electronics Development Fund for the development of the ESDM sector in the state.
This was stated on day three of FICCI FRAMES 2015 in a session on ‘Making Maharashtra the Global Destination for Media and Entertainment’ by the state government representatives Ms. Valsa Nair Singh, Secretary-Tourism & Culture, Government of Maharashtra; Mr. Apurva Chandra, Principal Secretary - Industries, Government of Maharashtra and Mr. Surendra Bagde, Secretary, SMI, and Development Commissioner-Industries, Government of Maharashtra.
The three government representatives unanimously supported the cause of the media and entertainment (M&E) industry, as they believed that the industry did not get its fair share in the past. They extended support to providing a greater thrust on creating a comprehensive M&E policy in order to facilitate a world-class infrastructure and policy framework to attract the global M&E industry to Maharashtra.
Ms. Singh stated that the M&E sector was marred by red tape, which the state government was aiming to replace with a red carpet for the filmmakers and studios. She agreed that the sector faced many challenges such as multiple authorities for approvals and licenses, lack of fair tax regime and need for ready availability of infrastructure of processes and resources.
Ms. Singh informed that the Maharashtra Government was working towards operationalizing a single window clearance process and reducing the number of approvals by eliminating redundant compliances. She added that to make Maharashtra the global destination for M&E, awareness creation about the locations through reckoner for locations, accessibility to locations through single window clearance and infrastructure & facilitates at locations, attractive propositions by providing incentives for film shooting in the state and tax subsidies were some of the steps that the state government plans to adopt.
Speaking about the proposed AVGC Policy, Mr. Chandra said that the policy tends to focus on bridging demand supply gap for stakeholders, attracting global companies, larger share of outsourcing international AVGC work, legal framework for Intellectual Property creation and protection, program to train the trainer and setting up a Centre of Excellence with state-of-the-art facilities.
Mr. Bagde said that the Government of Maharashtra was proactively working towards easing of doing business in the state. Speaking on the issue of a large number of compliances required for opening a theatre for screening a movie, he said that screening a movie was as important as shooting a film. Mr. Bagde assured the industry that the state government would look into the issue and facilitate the sector in this regard.
Sharing the industry’s perspective, Mr. Namit Malhotra, Founder, Executive Chairman & Global CEO, Prime Focus, said that access to creative and an enabling environment along with ease of doing business could attract international studios and filmmakers to the country. He urged the state government to chalk out clear-cut and well-structured policies and processes for seeking approvals and clearances for shooting in the state and suggested that a single window system approach should be adopted as that would help in removing the present set of roadblocks.
The session was moderated by Dr. Arbind Prasad, Director General, FICCI.