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Govt mulling tax reimbursement for film shooting in India

The government is actively considering tax reimbursement on film shooting expenditure in the country to woo prominent filmmakers.

business Updated: Dec 04, 2011 10:40 IST

The government is actively considering tax reimbursement on film shooting expenditure in the country to woo prominent filmmakers.

Besides, single window clearance system for all shooting-related events including visa clearance for filmmakers is being considered to promote Indian destinations abroad.

"We have decided to constitute a national body comprising members from NFDC, Tourism Ministry and the stakeholders to sort out various issues involving promotions of destinations through films," said a senior tourism ministry official.

National Film Development Corporation MD Nina Gupta will be the nodal officer for the committee.

As part of this concept being termed as "film tourism", the ministry will invite and extend hospitality to global filmmakers for site visits for development of destinations.

"We will also consider payment of facilitation fees for film shooting and work out an acceptable model.

"Cinema plays an important role in promoting tourism worldwide. We are examining the possibility of tax reimbursement on expenditure on film shooting as is prevalent in other countries," the official said.

The ministry is formulating an approach paper in this regard so that these issues can be taken up at highest level to promote the new concept.

"We will earmark funds to support film production and offer incentives to foreign and Indian filmmakers," the official said, adding a dedicated website highlighting possible film locations will be developed by the ministry for the purpose.

Streamlining of visa procedures, speedy customs clearance for import of filming equipment, ensuring easy accessibility to locations and eliminating obstacles and offering financial incentives to producers are some of the proposals being finalised by the ministry to attract filmmakers.

The ministry also proposes to ensure a single window clearance for licences and no-objection certificates for film makers for shooting at locations including security arrangements.

In some countries, the Mayor reimburses certain percentage of film charges in case the film promotes the destination. "We would examine the possibility of creating similar fund for promotion of destinations and cities," the official said.

Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai had held a meeting recently with leading film directors at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which concluded in Goa on Saturday.

He proposed a strategy of using the medium of cinema to enhance awareness, create interest among the people to promote the tourist destinations and tourism in the country.

Referring to the most recent example of "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara", the official said there is a sudden desire among Indian travellers to fly to Spain after seeing the film.

"We can replicate this by focusing tourism among international film directors to promote India as a preferred choice of destination for film making," the official said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had recently constituted a high-level body comprising senior officials from various ministries including Civil Aviation, External Affairs, Road and Transport, Urban Development to sort out tourism-related issues.