KARACHI: Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhry has time and again emphasized on the need to revive the Pakistan entertainment industry. In April, he shared his plans for 2021 which included loans for filmmakers, housing, insurance, and healthcare for TV and print media personnel. On December 26, Chaudhry once again highlighted ways in which the local industry can and will be facilitated by the government. During a press conference, the Minister mentioned his plans for local filmmakers as well as cinemas to promote the entertainment industry.
Fawad Chaudhry, upon signing a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) between Ministry of Information, National Arts Council and PTV, shared that a film division is being created within PTV and two huge films are currently being produced for the platform. One of the films based on Zaheeruddin Babar is being created in collaboration with Uzebkistan while the one on Alama Iqbal is being made in collaboration with Iran. Chaudhry revealed that both projects are multi-million dollar films given their production cost and quality. Another film is being created on Tipu Sultan in collaboration with a private firm.
Fawad Chaudhry, when referring to the need to facilitate the entertainment industry in Pakistan, also commented upon steps being taken to encourage young local filmmakers. The Minister invited artists to produce films under PTV Films with the platform looking after the funding and marketing of the projects.
About local cinemas, Chaudhry shared that their electricity rates have been brought down to domestic rates as compared to commercial rates to reduce cost. Taxes on cinema houses have also been reduced. Sharing that Pakistan now ranks as the 3rd biggest creators of films as compared to 2005 where the industry stood nowhere, Chaudhry seemed hopeful for more cinemas to be opened across the country and local content screened. The Minister also suggested that foreign content is taxed to promote local content and that a proposal has been submitted to the Federal Board of Revenue to tax imported dramas.
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