Meera Srinivasan

CHENNAI: The State government will constitute a committee to review concessions provided to the film industry, Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan told the Assembly on Tuesday.

The Government reduced the fee charged for outdoor shooting and also fully exempted entertainment tax levied on Tamil films named in Tamil.

“However, in spite of providing such concessions to the industry, in view of the fact that these benefits have not been passed on to the general public, the Government will constitute a committee to review these concessions,” Mr. Anbazhagan said.

Responding to the decision, Tamil Film Producers’ Council president Rama Narayanan told The Hindu: “Anything that the Chief Minister does will be in the best interest of the industry. If the committee points to any problem in the industry, we will rectify it immediately.”

According to reliable sources in the industry, nearly 120 Tamil films were released in 2008. Of these, most are said to have availed themselves of the tax waiver for choosing Tamil titles.

South Indian Artistes Association president Sarathkumar asked: “On what basis has this decision to constitute a committee been taken? Have they identified any particular problem? In that case, we could address it.”

Chennai Theatre Owners’ Association president Abirami Ramanathan said: “Whatever this Government has done has been for the benefit of the industry and the people.

When the committee is constituted, it will find out that the benefits were actually passed on to the public,” he said.

“We have more people coming to the theatres compared to last year. More films are being made and released. These are healthy trends indicating that the benefits given by the government are being passed on to the public,” he said.

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