Govt makes film production, cinemas income tax-free: Marriyum | The Express Tribune


Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Marriyum Aurangzeb, announced on Sunday that the government has made film production and cinema income tax-free to bolster the country’s film industry.

Speaking at the Icon Awards 2023 ceremony held at a local hotel, she highlighted that the formulation of the country’s first Film Policy began in 2016 and was subsequently approved in 2018. This policy was developed through consultations with artists, producers, and individuals associated with the film industry.

Aurangzeb stated that the Film Policy received valuable input from renowned senior artists of the country. She also credited former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for granting the status of industry to films. She elaborated that, under the initial Film Policy, cinemas have been granted a five-year exemption from income tax. Furthermore, no import duties apply to cinema equipment, and sales tax has been eliminated.

The Minister revealed that no funding was allocated for film production in the past, whereas the current government has established a Film Finance Fund of Rs2 billion for a year to support filmmakers. A Film Finance Committee has also been constituted. Aurangzeb also emphasised that artists are invaluable assets to Pakistan Television (PTV), noting the renovation of the PTV Academy after 29 years, as well as the digitization of PTV archives for online accessibility through a one-window facility.

Twelve studios have been established in Radio Pakistan, and a Voice Hunt program has been initiated. The archives of Radio Pakistan spanning 75 years have also been digitised. Additionally, Aurangzeb mentioned the forthcoming approval of the first Pakistan Music Policy, aimed at the preservation, development, and protection of the music heritage. She underlined the importance of portraying the true essence of the country to the world.

The Minister revealed an allocation of Rs1 billion each for journalists and artists. Sindh Governor Muhammad Kamran Khan Tessori and the Secretary of Information, who also serves as the Managing Director of PTV, Sohail Ali Khan, also addressed the ceremony.

Subsequently, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Secretary of Information and Broadcasting distributed Health Cards among the artists. The event recognized outstanding contributions in the film and music industry, presenting awards to individuals such as Javed Sheikh, Asif Raza Mir, Syed Noor, Sultana Siddiqui, Sheema Kermani, Sajid Hasan, Nadeem Mandviwala, Usman Pirzada, and others.

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