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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Wednesday stressed the need for promoting film, drama, music, and culture to promote national narrative globally.

Addressing a signing ceremony of MoU signed between the Ministry of Information, the National Arts Council, and the PTV regarding National Entertainment Awards, he said that the national narrative can be effectively promoted through the mediums of entertainment.

He said the next National Entertainment Awards would be the major in the history of the country. Under the national awards, 22 awards would be given in film, television and music categories and Rs250 million would be allocated for these awards. The minister said the content was weakened in past. In 1960s, Pakistan was the third-largest film producing country and it was fourth in the world in number of screens, he said, adding unfortunately, film, drama, and music industry was ruined during the past few decades. He said the new film policy has been finalized, which would give many incentives to the local film makers, whereas, foreign content would be taxed.

Fawad said, he also proposed FBR to impose tax on imported dramas to protect local entertainment industry. Instead of foreign artists, casting of local ones in advertisement would be encouraged, he added. He said a film division has been set up in the Pakistan Television (PTV), which would encourage young filmmakers. The national TV film division was producing two big budget movies on the lives of Mughal King Babar and national poet Allama Iqbal with the collaboration of Uzbekistan and Iran, respectively. Moreover, a private firm was making a film on the life of Tipu Sultan.

The minister said special focus was being given to revival of cinema halls and they were being given industrial tariff rates instead of commercial ones.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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