Call for single-window clearance and centre-state film commissions to boost film tourism

Mumbai, 25 March, 2015

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  • Recommends setting up an interactive online portal for Centre and the States
  • Outlines a six-sigma approach to single-window clearance
  • Suggests setting up National Film Commission and State level Film Commission

For India to emerge as a film-friendly destination, implementation of single-window clearance is the need of the hour, recommends EY-LAIFC (LA India Film Council) report titled ‘Unleashing the power of film tourism: the first step’ launched at FICCI Frames here today. The report also states that introduction of National and State level film commissions would give an impetus to the industry and also provide a roadmap for the future.

Farokh Balsara, Partner and Media & Entertainment Sector Leader, EY India says, “While the film industry is a significant contributor to the double-digit growth rates achieved by the Indian media and entertainment sector, , it is time for film production to move to the next level, thereby making India an undisputed choice for film shooting. A step-by-step approach of introducing single-window clearance and setting up film commissions will make India an attractive destination for Indian and foreign film- makers and also serve as a catalyst to increasing film-based tourism.”

Single-window clearance mechanism

According to the report, India currently does not appear to be a film-friendly destination since the process of film shooting is highly complex with as many as 30 agencies involved in the process of granting approvals and permissions. The implementation of a single-window clearance mechanism would enable international as well as domestic film makers to seek permits for film shooting in a structured manner, says the report.

Goa, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir are some of the states that have laid the foundation of a single-window clearance mechanism at the respective state-level. While these states have taken steps in the right direction, they can include additional measures to compete with international best practices eventually recognizing such state as a friendly destination for film production.

The report gives some key recommendations for effective single-window clearance mechanism at the Central and state level. According to the report, it is advisable to set up a single-window clearance only by the states, while all departments of the Central Government can participate only through their local representatives. Another key recommendation is the introduction of interactive online portals by the Centre and State Governments. An interactive online portal at the Centre would serve as a central repository and direct the applicant to the respective state-level online portal where the film shooting is intended to be undertaken.

The report recommends that the following six-sigma approach be adopted once the film maker has filed an online application.

  • Receipt of online application
  • Schedule pre-production meeting
  • Timely coordination with all concerned through an online portal
  • Grant approval within pre-agreed timelines
  • Provide flexibility function
  • Make approval enforceable and provide security

Film Commissions in India

Given the distribution powers between the Centre and the States from the Constitution of India, the framework for the introduction of a film commission in India would have to be undertaken at a national as well as at the respective state level with clear distinction of powers, states the report.

National film commission in India should be a private limited company under the control of the Central where nominee Directors can be appointed from various ministries. State level film commissions could be private companies under the control of the respective Cultural and Tourism ministry with participation from key departments under the State Government as Board of Directors.

The report also shares a number of international case studies of successful implementation of single-window clearance mechanisms and film commissions across the world and suggests adoption of best practices in India.

The Indian film industry has come a long way to become the largest film industry in the world in terms of number of films and the ticket size. It is time that the film industry receives support from the Government by setting up film commissions and single-window clearance mechanisms, making India one of the most film-friendly destinations in the world, says the report.

-Ends-

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