L Suresh of Ananda Films who is the president of Film Federation of India gave the following speech during the release of Musical CD of the Marathi film KRANTIVEER RAJ GURU.
“It gives me great pleasure in heartily welcoming the Hon’ble Finance Minister Sri.Pranab Mukherjee of our mighty nation. We are grateful to you sir for having accepted our invitation to come and join with us at this critical hour since we are aware how every second is precious for you immediately after presenting the wonderful budget.
There is common proverb known as “the proof of the pudding is eating”. The stock market greeted your budget with a jump in their indexes & all the captains of the various industries have welcomed your budget appreciating to be one of the best budgets and this budget on a macro economical level will boost the economy of our country to greater level.
It is rather appropriate that this function is being organized by the Film Federation Of India popularly known as FFI – which is the only Apex body in India comprising of 59 Associations from all over India from the Production, Distribution, Exhibition, Studio Owners, & Short Films Producers’ Associations.
We have great pleasure in inviting the Finance Minister to release the Musical CD of the Marathi film KRANTIVEER RAJ GURU who was hanged to death by the British rulers along with the great Bhagath Singh & Sukhdev. We had the pleasure of listening to the soulful songs of the film. It is not an exaggeration to claim that these melodious music composed by Shri Krishna Mohan are as melodious as we used to hear the tunes of Shri Salil Choudhary and the great Shri S.D. Burman who hailed from the east of India.
The Indian Film industry can never forget the contribution from our eastern fraternity be it a poem, or literature or melodious music and contemporary Cinema produced & directed by stalwarts from Kolkatta region. I am sure the music of this film as well as the film will reach a much greater height in our country. So I am pretty sure that the songs of this film has been heard and by the most prominent personalities in the Indian Film Industry.
I must really compliment Shri Ashok Kamle for being the Producer cum Director of this historical movie. I am sure that this film will win several National and International awards as well as rewards.
Although it may not be a highly appropriate movement to bring the main problems of the Indian Film Industry at this moment yet we are left with no other alternative excepting to bring it to your urgent & kind attention.
Sir, in India though we produce approximately 1200 films in a year, which is the highest in the World, it is a sad fact that for the past three years the percentage of box office success of films in India – be it Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Orissa, Kannada, Marathi, or Malayalam language – is hardly 10 % which is a hard hitting reality & undeniable truth.
There are several reasons for this and this may not be the right platform to elaborate the reasons for the failure of films. We can substantiate this statement with relevant press statement and magazine clippings from trade journals.
At this stage we would like to bring to your notice an interesting statistics relating to our Production sector – that out of 30 departments that we use in the Production of a film 27 department are burdened with Service tax and all of them being borne by the Producer alone. Under this present scenario, we have already submitted a memorandum to your good self, requesting you to kindly reduce the Service Tax burden on the Film Industry.
Now in the proposed budget proposals to our shock and horror we find that we are further burdened with another service tax on Transfer of Copyright which had been exempted till date. May we take this opportunity to humbly point out that your present budget have given so much of relief to so many Indians but unfortunately have burdened the already sagging film industry with the above Service tax on Copyright which will break the backbone of the Film Industry.
Secondly, although Film Industry has been recognized as an Industry we are sorry to bring to your kind attention that many of the benefits given to the other Industries have not been made available to the Film Industry. Majority of the Film Industry people are deprived to get loans from banks despite the recommendations from the Kanann Committee constituted under the guidelines of Reserve Bank of India.
This is despite the better and clean record of the Industry as far as bank repayments are concerned. I would like to repeat a statement made by the Head of IDBI division in charge of financing the Film Industry. The IDBI openly admitted in a forum in front of our I & B Minister that they are recovering 100 % of the loans advanced by them to the Film Industry and this is the only Industry where there is no N P A is at all!
This has been possible in this typical 90% failure rated Industry, because of the inherent characteristic of our Industry to repay the loans before the release of any film and not from the recovery from market i.e. box office collections. However it is ironical that despite the above, IDBI gives funds only for very big projects.
We earnestly request you Sir – to kindly instruct that the banks must come forward and finance to smaller projects only against collateral security of our negatives alone as recommended by the Kanann Committee.
Sir, we have the greatest pleasure of welcoming you and felicitating you for this evening function and we will be ever grateful to you if you could kindly accede to our demands. I once again welcome all the dignitaries who have come for this function on our invitation and hope we will have an enjoyable evening.”