Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka ChopraVarinder Chawla

Priyanka Chopra's Purple Pebble Pictures (PPP) may be in soup for defaulting workers' payments. The defaultees were hired for an ad shoot last year.

"The total dues came to nearly Rs. 36 lakh, of which only Rs. 20 lakh has been cleared. The remaining amount has been withheld for reasons best known to them. We sent them the bill twice in December last year, but they have not responded so far," an insider informed Mid-day.

Throwing some light on the matter, Gangeshwar Srivastav, general secretary of Film Studio Setting and Allied Mazdoor Union, said it has been over a year since the union members had "rendered services" to the production house and they are yet to close the account.

Gangeshwar further elaborated that the actress' aunt and two others, Ishaan Dutta and Amit Vij, had promised to clear the dues, but they paid Rs. 5 lakh to the art director instead. "Now we are left with no choice but to issue a non-cooperation notice against Purple Pebble," he added.

Earlier, a source from Priyanka's firm had claimed that they had an "all-inclusive contract" with the director and were not "liable" to pay the workers. Adding dimension to the narrative, Anil Nagrath, secretary of Indian Motion Pictures' Producers Association (IMPPA), said a cheque worth Rs. 5 lakh has been lying at the IMPPA office, but the director hasn't claimed it yet. 

"PPP has already paid the art director but he hasn't paid his workers. In addition to the money cleared, a cheque of Rs5 lakh is lying in IMPPA's office but the art director has not come to claim it. Now the workers are harassing PPP. It's a plain extortion racket. Why are the workers continuing to work with such a art director?" he asked.

This comes roughly two months after Priyanka announced that PPP would be backing regional films. Outlining details of the three films her firm would be producing — "Bam Bam Bol Raha Hai Kashi" (Bhojpuri), "Ventilator" (Marathi) and "Ek Onkar" (Punjabi) — the "Quantico" star said the idea was to erase boundaries and create stories in which the content would be the hero, Bollywood Hungama reports.