PM supports film city project

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PM supports film city project
by Emanuel Sarfraz

Pakistan's film industry is at its lowest ebb. The films' production has gone down drastically in the recent years, and cinemas across the country are closing down. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has promised help to end the crisis.
A delegation of film industry led by Chairman Pakistan Film Producers Association Mian Amjad Farzand called on the prime minister on Monday. Others in the delegation included Chairman Film Directors Association Aslam Dar, Chairman Film Exhibitors Association Zoraiz Lashari, Mubasher Lucman, Ghulam Mohyuddin, Reema, Resham, Saud, Usman Peerzada, Sangeeta, Jamshed Zafar, Nadeem Mandviwalla, Shahbaz Khan, Ijaz Kamran, Tariq Butt and Nasir Ismael. Minister for Culture Ajmal Khan, Chairman CBR Abdullah Yousaf, Chairman Censor Board Ziauddin and DG PEMRA Iftikhar Rashid were also present.
Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Tourism and Culture Senator Zafar Iqbal made the presentation on revival of film industry. Prime minister said that the government would consider the suggestions for relief in taxes and duties on raw material and equipment. Reportedly, he turned down the delegation's proposal to allow the exhibition of Indian films.
Mian Amjad, while talking to The Nation Plus, said that prime minister has promised that the government would continue crackdown to check piracy. "We have sought the federal government's help for a few projects to revive the film industry. The Punjab government has already shown support for them.
"We want to establish film cities in Lahore and Karachi. Chief Minister Punjab Ch Pervaiz Elahi has given us 100-acre land on the outskirts of Lahore near Motorway to start film city that will house modern studios and filmmaking facilities. The PM, while supporting the plan to establish film cities, has promised to look into the matter of transferring Rs 280 million NAFDEC money to us. This money will be utilised for starting the film city," Mian Amjad said.
He disclosed that the Punjab government has also allotted 6-kanal land in Johar Town, Lahore, for setting up a digital laboratory. "Rs 200 million has already been allocated in the budget for this project. The federal government will provide us relief in taxes on the import of equipment," he said.
Producer Mubasher Lucman disclosed that the National Association of Movie Industry (NAMI) is being formed. "The prime minister has agreed to become its patron. The 20-member Board of NAMI will also have federal minister for culture and censor board chairman as its members. The chairmen of various associations of the industry will also be its members. The NAMI will be the supreme body of the film industry and help ensure its revival," he said.
"PM has assured that action will also be taken against cable operators in the anti-piracy crackdown. We will soon give a list of modern equipment and material to the government on which duties and taxes should be reduced," he said. A meeting of leading film industry personalities in this regard will be held in Lahore today.
Posted 14 Jun 2005

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