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I&B Ministry to promote India as films hub

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting  will be working to mainstream a synchronized 'Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)' for obtaining permissions for films shooting in India for both Indian and foreign film producers.

"This would lead to institutionalization and standardized benchmarks for each critical stakeholder involved in the process. The benchmarks identified in the SOP would clearly identify the responsibility of critical stakeholders in terms of clearances / timelines/ permissions required for films shooting," said Secretary (I&B) Bimal Julka while delivering his inaugural address at the National Workshop on 'Single Window Clearance for Film Shooting in India' here on Wednesday.

Regarding the initiative of the Ministry, the Secretary mentioned that the Ministry was in the process of developing a dedicated online portal for operationalising the 'Single Window Clearance' System.

The website would include the data on various requirements such as custom clearances, visas, cultural sensibilities etc.

A Production Resource Guide highlighting different aspects of production as well as logistics and a digital location library of panaromic images of potential production locations would also form an important component of the online portal.

The website will also include information on state-wise facilities like transport, hospitality, medical and other local information for the applicants.

Highlighting the importance of Social Media in the changed communication paradigm, Julka said that the Ministry would actively utilize the new media platforms to provide real time information and facilitate active engagement and interaction with key stakeholders on the single window clearance mechanism. "This would enable the seamless transition to online application process."

Elaborating further, Julka said that the challenge before the ministry was to outline steps that would encourage producers to avail of the facility. "The roadmap needed to include steps involving the simplification of the process, incentivization of various principles and inputs which would lead to India as a filming hub and synergize the link between films and tourism as the case world over."

During the inaugural session, Raghvendra Singh, Joint Secretary (Films), made a presentation on facilitation of film production in India highlighting the growth of Indian Film Industry in view of the surge of domestic theatrical revenue which grew by 24 per cent and contributed 76 per cent to the Rs.124 billion Indian Film Industry.

"The relevance of digital dominance was also touched upon highlighting the share of digital format increasing to 80 per cent in 2012. The presentation also touched upon the revenue assessment in view of the exponential growth in theatrical revenue," Singh said.

"An overview was also provided regarding the increasing number of co-productions in the country and the deliberations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee constituted to fast track the process," he said.

The day long workshop included interactions with key stakeholders including senior officers from key departments involved at the central level, state government representatives, film producers/ line producers and bodies such as FICCI.

A first of its kind, the workshop was organised to review the experiences of the past and the obstacles that many a times led to delays in providing timely clearances/ permissions.

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