Centre planning to enact "Optical Disc Law"

PANAJI, NOV. 29. The Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Jaipal Reddy, has said that the Centre was contemplating the enactment of the "Optical Disc Law" with stringent penal provisions to curb piracy.

"All the stakeholders in the film industry would be involved while drafting such a legislation which should act as a deterrent for piracy," Mr. Reddy told an audience comprising top film personalities at the inauguration of the 35th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) - Goa, here this evening.

Provided employment

The Centre's concern was natural, as the film industry has provided employment to lakhs of people, generating crores of revenue and contributed towards a silent social revolution, he said. While the industry directly employed about 10 lakh people, more than 40 lakh people were indirectly earning their livelihood from it. With an average production of 800 films a year, the industry earned a revenue of Rs. 4,500 crores,in the last year. Mr. Reddy said Indian cinema quietly changed the mindset of people and saluted the industry for its contribution. The IFFI has grown manifold over the years, he added.

He thanked the Goa Government for making the IFFI a success within a short duration, by building world-class infrastructure for the festival.

Hub of Asian film activities

The Goa Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, said the Government intends to convert Goa into a hub of Asian film activities. "I promise one thing, in [the] next three to five years, IFFI-Goa would be considered as the topmost film festival in the world."

Criticising those who were questioning the selection of Goa as the IFFI's permanent venue, he said that 25 per cent of the musicians in the film industry were from Goa, though the State only had a population of 13 lakhs. He said, "We started from scratch to put up a world-class infrastructure for the festival, including a four-screen multiplex and the festival theatre."

He was thankful to the then Union Information Ministers, Sushma Swaraj, and Ravi Shankar Prasad, who declared Goa as the permanent venue for the IFFI and to Mr. Reddy, who kept the promise even after a change in Government.

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