The president of the Indian Film & Television Directors' Association Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit talked about his expectations from the 2023 Union Budget, which was presented on Wednesday.
He said that the entertainment industry has always been neglected by the government. Talking to the news agency ANI, Ashoke stated that no government has taken the industry seriously and given it the same importance as other industries.
Ashoke Pandit said, “The entertainment industry which includes cinema, television, OTT and state shows has always been very hopeful whenever the Budget is about to be announced, this happens year after year. But unfortunately, our entertainment industry has always been neglected by government after government. We have not been spoken about the way other industries are spoken about in the budget, whether it's the textile industry, whether it's the soap industry or health industry. The way other industries are identified, discussed, debated and benefits are thought for those industries, the entertainment industry has not been given that kind of importance or seriousness by any government till date.”
“We have been discussing, we have been approaching but unfortunately that seriousness, as far as our industry is concerned, is not there in the politics of this country,” the filmmaker added. He further shared how the film industry is operating independently and said, “Whatever battles we have fought, whatever the survival of this industry is, it's all done by ourselves."
He shared his expectations from the upcoming budget, before it was announced by the Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. He hoped that the Modi government will consider the film industry in a ‘real sense.’ He continued, "Our industry is one of the biggest taxpayers of the country and during all kinds of trouble like during corona we played a very important role by entertaining the people sitting at home, we were responsible for people not getting mentally ill. So this industry has to be taken seriously by the governments and not only use us as promoters during elections or calling for events."
Ashoke called the industry people ‘promoters of our country’ as they play a crucial role to spread the word about India. Budget 2023 is most likely the last full Budget under the Modi government in its second term with the next Lok Sabha election due in April-May of 2024.