“All of us are guilty of this. We decided to be shortsighted, we decided to subsidise our products and created hurdles for small challengers,” he said.
The media veteran also said that there was an urgent need to expand the local talent base and create a supply funnel that delivered writers, actors and directors on a regular basis.
He urged the government to give the necessary support to the sector to help expand the country’s ‘soft power’.
Prakash Javadekar, Union minister, information and broadcasting, said the government was formulating standard operating procedures for shooting and re-starting filmmaking in India, which had come to a standstill because of the pandemic.
“Content produced by India is consumed in more than 150 countries and Indian cinema earns significant revenue,” he said.
However, Sanjay Gupta, country manager and vice-president, Google India, said nearly a million people could lose their jobs in media and entertainment due to the lockdown.
“In 2020, we will see the sector shrink from $20 billion to $15 billion,” said Gupta. “An even bigger challenge is the impact on jobs and livelihoods. As we adapt to a new normal, it is estimated that around 20 per cent of our workforce may lose their jobs, potentially impacting nearly a million people,” he said.
Gupta also said that to be a ‘creative powerhouse’, policy initiatives such as a simplification of the taxation framework, adoption of a light-touch regulatory approach, infrastructure status to the industry and support to accelerate exports of films and games was needed.
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