Senate panel calls for film industry’s revival

Published September 3, 2020
The committee’s chairman said that a vibrant film industry had multiple advantages and it would also help project the country’s positive image. — AFP/File
The committee’s chairman said that a vibrant film industry had multiple advantages and it would also help project the country’s positive image. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting has stressed the need for revival of the film industry in Pakistan.

Presiding over a meeting of the committee on Wednesday, its chairman Faisal Javed noted that the film industry had declined to this level because previous governments had done nothing to promote it.

The meeting expressed dismay that the Indian film industry conveyed its government’s message to the whole world through films, but the Pakistani entertainment industry had failed to find any direction.

These observations came during a briefing by the Directorate of Electronic Media and Publishing (Demp), an allied department under the ministry of information and broadcasting.

The Senate panel’s chairman informed the meeting that the government would bring a comprehensive, effective and useful policy for revival of the film industry which would benefit the Pakistani culture and tourism sectors.

The committee agreed that all stakeholders would be taken on board and special incentives would be offered to the investors and producers to promote the film industry.

The committee’s chairman said that a vibrant film industry had multiple advantages and it would also help project the country’s positive image.

“We can also promote our tourism sector by shooting movies at various tourist destinations. We want to work with Demp to bring about reforms for better film-making in the country,” he said.

The committee resolved to support Demp in production of short films and documentaries at various tourist destinations which would also serve as infotainment for Pakistanis and the people abroad.

The meeting also discussed the issue of making payments to media houses, delay in payment of advertisement dues of private TV channels and salary to journalists and other media workers.

It strongly criticised airing of the wrong map of Pakistan on PTV and expressed dissatisfaction over the action taken against the officials responsible for the mistake and summoned the managing director of the state-run TV channel in the next meeting along with the inquiry report.

Information Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani informed the committee that out of Rs1.15 billion advertisement dues of private TV channels pending between 2013 and 2018, Rs1.004bn had been disbursed. The matter was also raised in a meeting of the cabinet recently, he added.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2020

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