New Delhi: The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Chairman Pahlaj Nihalani has suggested that the ministry of information and broadcasting allow the board to bestow a new category of certification, the ‘Q’ rating, on quality films that provide clean family entertainment.
Apart from government recognition, this rating would make these films eligible for tax benefits, the granting of which is a state-specific subject.
“Quality films that get the ‘U’ certificate without any cuts and are family entertainers should get benefits from states as well as recognition from the government, This way, producers will at least take the risk to make quality films” Nihalani said.
The proposal is still being worked out and the censor board hopes it materializes.
Nihalani has proposed the new category specifically for Hindi films. Regional cinema, he said, anyway gets benefits and recognition from state governments. For example, in Tamil Nadu, Tamil films are tax free if they have a Tamil title and a ‘U’ certificate from the censor board.
Moreover, last year, an order of the Madras high court directed theatre owners to pass on the benefit of entertainment tax exemptions to viewers. This meant that audiences would save almost Rs.36 on a Rs.120 ticket.
States like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Gujarat provide tax exemption to films made in their respective local languages.
“Hindi cinema has been protecting the Hindi language globally, but gets no benefits. Producers should be encouraged with tax exemption to start thinking of good cinema,” Nihalani said. “Ticket rates are so high and because there are no benefits, small-budget movies have to suffer. Young talent gets wasted, people lose money and there is so much obscenity and vulgarity thrown around.”
Nihalani cites the example of the Marathi and Gujarati film industries that are thriving because of state government incentives. He hopes film producers will come together for the cause and ensure the government takes notice.