Yash Chopra hits at Govt while opening IFFI '10

GOANEWS & PTI, PANAJI | 22 November 2010 23:34 IST

South Indian performance at IFFI'10 inaugural in Goa

Veteran Bollywood director Yash Chopra came down heavily on the government for giving step motherly treatment to the movie industry in India, while inaugurating the 41st International Film Festival of India, in Goa, today evening.

Railway minister Mamata Banerjeet and Bollywood actor Ajay Devagan also graces the occasion, besides Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat and union minister of state for information and broadcasting C M Jatua.

"The government-imposed taxes are proving the death knell of the film industry", said Chopra, the Dada Saheb Phalke winner.

"The industry is going great guns but we must ask ourselves what the government is doing for us? Why are they treating the Indian film industry in such a step-motherly fashion," asked the filmmaker who is the man behind Bollywood''s most influential production houses, ''Yash Raj Films''.

"The government is bent on implementing all these taxes, service tax, copyright, VAT, stamp duty. If these taxes keep coming it will be very difficult to make films. In 2013, we are celebrating the 100 years of Indian cinema but it may be too late. We may be writing our obituary. These are hard facts. The government must take notice," said Chopra, who has directed and produced ever green films like "Deewar", "Kabhi Kabhie", "Lamhe" and "Dil To Pagal Hai" among others.

Mamata Banerjee seconded Chopra and said that she would personally take up the issue of taxation with Finance Minster Pranab Mukherjee.

"I think Yash Chopra ji is correct. There is too much taxation, which comes under the finance ministry. I will take up the issue with Pranab da. There will be no dadagiri," she said.

Mamata, who replaced indisposed Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni at the festival, thanked her colleague for giving her the opportunity.

"This is a real occasion for me. This festival has a beautiful blend of all the cinema, from Bollywood to Tollywood, from regional, national and international there is a beautiful blend," she said in her usual style, admitting her Engklish was not that good.

"I don''t know the good English. I can speak whatever I feel. Sometimes I feel how they look so nice but how they maintain is no joke (sic).

"When Ambika ji told me I thought my goodness I cannot do this because I thought I won''t be able to match them as my field is different. I started from grassroots and now I am in the glamour field. I don''t know whether I will manage to do it or not but I said okay let me attend this," she said amid peels of laughter from the audience.

Mamata, who spoke extempore, professed her undying love for cinema. She wondered how actors can be so thin and made light the idea of dieting.

"I really love the film industry. It is very difficult. It is not a matter of joke. The actors and actresses really do a tough job. They cannot even take their food as they are always dieting, dieting, dieting."


Mamata said the Indian film industry was capable of competing with the world cinema industry and took pride in the entertainment industry producing stalwarts like Ashok Kumar, Satyajit Ray and Yash Chopra.

She also assured to raise the taxation issue with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, a matter that was raised by Yash Chopra in his inaugural speech.

"Yash Chopraji is right. There is too much taxation. I must pursue the matter with Pranab da because the matter is related to the finance ministry. I will certainly talk to Pranab da. I will mention all the details."

She said since its inception, IFFI had provided a forum for converging cinema from all parts of the world on one platform.

Chief Minister of Goa, Digambar Kamat, in his address outlined the initiatives taken by the State Government in facilitating the film industry within the State.

The Chief Minister stated that the overall objective was to re-position Goa as a film destination. He reiterated that all possible steps would be taken to promote the film industry and proposals in this context were being considered.

Shri Kamat also highlighted some of the key initiatives taken for the 41st edition of IFFI, namely, the initiation of the e-ticketing system.

Festival Director, Shri S. M. Khan in his welcome address highlighted the key initiatives taken during the 41st edition of the Festival.

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Previous Comments

When the public funds are wasted or misused- they have to be made up by imposing taxes!

India is a very heavily taxed country with variety of taxes on a single item.

Even the petrol which we are buying at over Rs 50 per liter, the taxes are more than Rs 25 per liter. All this is too much. It is time the wasteful expenditure has to be curbed so that there is no need to impose heavy taxation on each and every item! The ever expanding bureaucracy also needs to be curbed to avoid wasteful expenditure!

A dispassionate assessment would help to know as to the benefits the festivals like IFFI bring to a small State like Goa!

- vishwas prabhudesai, loliem | 25 th November 2010 11:29

 

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