ISLAMABAD: Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage State Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb while addressing the International Film Festival (PiFF) in Karachi on Monday evening said that the federal government was all set to include an unprecedented package for Pakistan’s film industry in the 2018 Finance Bill.
She said that the film policy which would be part of the Finance Bill 2018 envisaged a number of tax concessions and rebates on the import of film producing equipment, the establishment of a finance fund and setting up of state-of-the-art film studios.
She said that the revival of the film industry would immensely contribute to the promotion of Pakistani culture, its heritage, scenic beauty and screen tourism.
The minister said that seeing the real Pakistan on screens would have a positive impact on economy and investment by international spectators.
She also said that the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz’s (PML-N) government had given the status of an industry to films for the first time in the history of the country besides taking steps to revive it.
She recalled that films were also declared an industry in 1992 but the journey was disrupted due to the dismissal of PML-N’s government.
Marriyum said that those days were not far when the film industry would regain its status as a vibrant and emerging entity in the region as a consequence of the steps taken by the government.
She observed that actors, filmmakers and producers will also have to play their due role by producing more films to highlight the good things and project a positive identity of Pakistan, its culture and history at a global level.
She said that during the ’60s and ’70s the Pakistani film industry ranked among the top most industries in the world and the present government was contemplating to go beyond that.
The minister said that a number of people connected with the film industry including producers, filmmakers and actors were participating in the PiFF for which the government had extended its necessary cooperation.
She said that the festival would prove as a milestone for the youth who were aspiring to build their careers in the film industry.
She informed the audience that the revival of the film industry was the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision and that the PML-N government announced the first ever cultural and film policy last month in order to implement that vision.
She further said that the policy had been firmed up through a lot of hard work and consultation with all the stakeholders during the last eight to nine months. The provinces might also faithfully implement the film policy announced by the federal government because, after the 18th constitutional amendment, the subject had been devolved to the provinces, however, they would be extended all possible help in this regard.
“After the 18th amendment, the provincial governments would have to invest in rehabilitation and preservation of cultural infrastructure,” the minister added.
The minister observed that terrorism during the last 30 to 35 years had badly affected the film industry and actors had fought the war against terrorism in their own way but Pakistan is still fighting a perception war and films are a great medium to showcase and watch each other’s culture.
Recalling her visit to China, she informed that she saw the Chinese film industry and also signed some agreements for cooperation in film-making, adding that Pakistani films would be screened at film festivals in Shanghai and Beijing.
She said that as a consequence of the steps taken in line with the former prime minister’s vision, the hustle and bustle of the playgrounds had returned besides, the revival of cultural activities, a proof that Pakistan had fought the war against terrorism successfully.
She said that the fulfilment of the vision unfurled by the former prime minister and the federal government in 2013 has had a positive impact on all spheres of national life.
The minister reiterated that the revival of international cricket in Pakistan and especially Karachi was an irrefutable proof of the fact that peace had returned to Pakistan.