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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet has approved Rs 100 million Technical Supplementary Grant (TSG) for the creation of the Film and Drama Finance Fund (FDFF).

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in a summary sought approval of the fund and stated the government had approved Pakistan’s Film and Broadcasting Policy in May 20I8 with the objective to promote culture and heritage as well as to create an enabling environment for screen tourism through film and drama.

This policy, the ministry further stated calls for the establishment of FDFF for the promotion and support of the film and cinema industry in Pakistan as well as for the welfare of the artists and others associated with the film and drama industry.

Ministry of Intonation and Broadcasting being the custodian of Pakistan’s film policy has been making efforts for establishing the Fund as Minister for Finance had also announced in his budget speech, 2022-23 for the creation of the FDFF with an amount of Rs 1 billion.

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According to the ministry, Finance Division has agreed to provide funds amounting to Rs 100 million on 22.09.2022 as film industry in the country had suffered greatly due to the Covid-19 pandemic and consequently, many filmmakers have abandoned the filmmaking business due to financial losses and risks involved.

This has resulted in a further decline of the film and cinema industry in the country, which necessitates the establishment of the film and drama finance fund on an immediate basis.

The FDFF would be utilised for the purposes envisaged in the film and broadcasting Policy-2018; (i) promotion of screen tourism;(ii) promotion of film and drama production;(iii) provision of grants and technical assistance to the filmmakers;(iv) imparting training and capacity building; and (v) grant of old age, retirement and health benefits for the artists and other associated with Film and Cinema Industry.

The FDFF would be managed by the Pakistan Film Council that would comprise private as well as ex-officio members. The corporate entities donating to the Fund under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) would be given a tax incentive and the fund would be exempted from income tax.

The ministry requested the ECC for approval of Rs 100 million through TSG for the creation of the FDFF.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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