The pandemic had begun to impact the film industry in a big way last year when the Union Budget 2021 came up with some customs duty rate changes. In these, temporary import of costumes and props by filmmakers had been exempted.
Experts are hoping that this year, more substantial relief will be provided to the industry which has battled huge economic losses over the last two years. Veteran producer Anand Pandit says, “The film industry could do with some post-pandemic cheer and relief. I hope that especially for theatre owners, there is some help. The industry has seen theatre closures in thousands and with fewer footfalls, survival has been challenging. Speedy loans and tax relief would help them enormously. Tax rebates for initiating new screens would be most welcome. Exhibitors are the backbone of the industry and their survival is important for our financial well-being.”
The industry would also benefit from a GST waiver or reduction, he believes and adds, “Reduced entertainment tax along with single-window clearances for shoots in the country and the ease of doing business will go a long way in boosting our morale. We wield immense soft power but our financial power does not match it when it comes to getting the support that many other industries enjoy. I hope, this time the Budget will give us many reasons to rejoice.”