Tax reimbursement likely for filmmakers shooting in India

Updated: Nov 27, 2011, 09:18 AM IST

Panaji: In a move that will bring cheers to filmmakers from across the country and abroad, Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay Saturday said here that the government is considering tax reimbursement to those who shoot their movies in Indian locations.

"We will work out a model through which Union Tourism Ministry will give finances to the states to reimburse the tax paid by filmmakers shooting in Indian locations," Sahay said adding the incentive will be extended to both Indian and foreign filmmakers.

The minister, who chaired the meeting of Indian and foreign filmmakers at the Film Bazaar organized by National Films Division Corporation (NFDC), said clarity on the policy would be arrived at tomorrow when they will meet again.

Indian filmmakers including Zoya Akhtar, Farah Khan, Dibakar Banerjee, Vishal Bhardwaj, Sanjay Suri and others were present for the meet along with tourism officials.

Sahay also announced the formation of a body which will facilitate the single-window clearance for film shootings in the country.

"This cell will be in the Chief Minister’s office and Union Tourism Ministry will bear the expenses of the cell," he told reporters.

The body will consist of representatives from NFDC, Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Union Tourism ministry, stake holders and the state government.

Sahay said red-tapism has been a major complaint of filmmakers, who want to shoot in India.

"We are learning from Goa and Pondicherry experience where single window system for film shootings is in place. We want to replicate it in all the other states," he said. The Union Tourism Ministry has also decided to take up the issue of stringent visa regulations faced by the
filmmakers, with the Prime Minister.

There are complaints from the foreign filmmakers that they are facing difficulty to get visa clearances, he said.

The Ministry has also decided to have proper infrastructure around places that are being developed as film shooting destinations.

"People should not be made to travel for 4-5 hours to reach these destinations," he said.