ISLAMABAD: In order to revive the country’s weak film industry, The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday, 14 June, announced a special package for the artists and the workers associated with it.
“Reviving the film Industry was our top most obligations. It gives me immense pleasure to announce the biggest ever special package in the history of Pakistan for the artists and workers associated with this industry, which surely is the fulfillment of yet another promise like our other pledges,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.
He said art and artists were those trustees of the bright traditions of the Pakistani society which had played a significant role in keeping alive the national identity, culture and heritage at the global level, besides carving a niche for Pakistan among the alive and conscientious nations.
“Apart from this, relaxation in financial laws pertaining to films and exemption from taxes should also be given. The domain of art and literature includes all those honourbale people we call writers and poets,” he added.
The Prime Minister said a comprehensive package will also be prepared for these honourable personalities and fine arts. Under this package National Film and Broadcasting Commission, National Film Institute and an academy will be established that will have a studio equipped with the latest technology and gadgets compatible with the requirements of the modern times, he added.
For the welfare and financial assistance to the artists, the Prime Minister also announced the establishment of Prime Minister’s Artist Welfare Fund so that the dignity and self-respect of those talented individuals could be safeguarded.
“Unfortunately Pakistan and its self-respecting people have witnessed heinous acts of terrorism in the streets, mosques and public places during the last many years. But by the grace of God owing to the sacrifices of our valiant forces and security agencies and unswerving determination of the nation, terrorism has been stopped in its tracks and incidents of terrorism have been considerably reduced,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the recent history was witness to the fact how enemies of Islam and the country targeted the innocent minds with misleading concepts, which promoted terrorism in the country.
“The comity of nations interpreted our distorted identity according to their own perceptions,” he added.
The Prime Minister said, “The youth who are the future of this country remained captive of a scary mindset. To extricate the youth from that horrible situation and terrorism, we are trying to provide alternative avenues of entertainment to them.”
“We are aware of the fact that quality entertainment revolves around availability of playing fields, recreations parks, tourism and cultural activities, the nucleus of which is the revival of the film industry,” he added.
The Prime Minister said he felt proud to accord status of industry to the amorous body of films on the recommendations of the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, which was the continuation of the policy that they announced in 1992.
“Each nook and cranny of this land of the pure testifies to the beauty of God. In this context the foreign film makers will be given special concession for making films on cultural, historic and tourists spots, so that through this medium tourism at the national and international level can be promoted,” he added.
The Prime Minister said special concession will be given on the import of equipment related to the film industry, so that the bright and beautiful face of Pakistan could be shown to the world and the Pakistani film producers had all the facilities available at home for which they had to go abroad.
“We have to go even beyond this with a view to ensure that every person connected with this industry is duly encouraged. In this context the government has decided to accord complete exemption on entertainment tax. More concessions will be made in regards to the income related to film and entertainment,” he added.
The Prime Minister said special benefits and concessions will also be allowed on investments in such ventures which help in introducing our dignified past, exemplary heritage, worth emulating culture, distinguished literature and infallible beauty of tourism to the youth, who are architects of our future.
“To help the film and Broadcasting Industry and the fine arts I announce the institution of Prime Minister’s Film Finance Fund which I am sure is a rare step,” he added.
The Prime Minister said he was sanguine that the inclusion of the film and Broadcasting Industry in the national milieu would give further boost to the Pakistan economy which was already striding on the path of sustained economic development.
“I am confident that these steps taken at the level of the government will go a long way in removing the difficulties and impediments connected to the film Industry. I am also proud of the fact that our land has produced such personalities in the field of fine arts whose imprint will help different nations to move ahead for all times to come,” he added.
He was hopeful that our youth, like in other fields, will spare no effort to make their contribution in the domain of films to win laurels for Pakistan.The Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage to present this package in implementable form for the approval of the government, after consultations with the Ministry of Finance and other relevant institutions.