National Film Corporation Act soon in Parliament: Media Minister

Saturday, 18 January 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Media Minister has emphasised that there is no other Government as the present administration which had taken vast progressive measures for the progress of the local cinema industry within the last 67 years. Minister of Mass Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella issuing a statement in respect of the initiatives taken by the present Government for the progress of the local cinema industry said that the resurgence of the cinema industry commenced after 2005. But the crisis within the industry surfaced in the year 2001 with the implementation of the recommendations of the Nilaweera Report. Minister Rambukwella pointed out that this was the beginning for the surfacing of problems which had not been sorted out so far and in addition to complications. The war situation further escalated this situation. By 2005, the Sinhala cinema mainly depended on sex based films. But in 2005, many proposals were included to the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ Vision and accordingly action was taken for the progress and protection of the industry. The main factor was the granting of tax relief up to 25 million rupees for the production of films. It has now been increased to 35 million rupees. It was also an impetus for the construction of new cinema halls. Investors are given a 10-year grace period for non-payment of taxes in the construction of cinema halls. VAT and CESS taxes paid in the importation of equipment required by the cinema industry have been withdrawn. The Government permitted a grace period for non-payment of taxes for the investments made for the construction of cinema halls. Accordingly 35 cinema halls reopened by 2005. The amendment of the National Film Corporation Act commenced as an initial step to introduce a modern cinema. The prime aim of the amendment was to make provisions for digitisation. The National Policy which has been crafted after soliciting views of the sectors concerned is due to be announced next month. Minister Rambukwella said that amendments to the National Film Corporation Act which have already been drafted are due to be presented in Parliament soon for approval. Discussions are also underway with investors for the launch of the strategy for digitalisation. The Minister revealed that successful conclusions in this respect have already been reached. Another aim of amending the Act is to streamline the film distribution strategy.