As Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presents the Union Budget 2017 on Wednesday, February 1, Bollywood producers and distributors of the entertainment sector are hopeful they will benefit.
For several years now, the entertainment industry has never been a priority in the Union Budget. Talking about the same to InUth, distributor Akshay Rathi said that although the entertainment sector has a high success ratio, there has been no initiative from the government to increase the ratio.
He also pointed out the need to build more infrastructure. Despite having a population close to that of China, India has around 8,000 cinema screens, whereas China has approximately 38,000 screens.
Talking about the process of taxation in the industry, Rathi said: "The process we follow in the industry for taxation while making a film is really a joke. It starts from the producers, then actors, exhibitors, distributors, and viewers—all of us pay tax starting from making a film to watching the final product," adding that, "I am not saying that the government should help us as an industry to prosper. I am saying that it's high time the government should help us to survive. The industry needs money and we are keeping our fingers crossed to get some incentives and tax rebate."
Even actor Sonu Sood, who recently established his production house, Shakti Sagar Productions, hopes that the government takes proper measures to boost the entertainment sector.
"I am keeping my fingers crossed like all others from the industry. I hope there's something of value in the budget tomorrow. I hope the government takes more measure to put the entertainment industry in forefront as a profit making sector and announce some good decisions," Sonu said.