Will facilitate rapid growth of M&E industry: I&B Minister

Addressing the audience via a recorded message at the Valedictory Session of FICCI FRAMES 2013, the Honourable Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Shri. Manish Tewari, said the Government will facilitate and play a key role for rapid M&E growth in India. He was answering the sentiments raised in the inaugural session of FICCI FRAMES 2013 that the M&E industry has a ‘huge economic multiplayer’ as India goes into the next two decades of its economic trajectory. The Minister mentioned in his address that he personally is a believer that that the freedom of speech includes the freedom to offend. (Transcript attached)

Shri. Uday Kumar Varma, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, said, “I am delighted to be here. There are high quality discussions that have happened at FICCI FRAMES that provide inputs for the industry. I am proud to share that digitisation is happening quietly and smoothly in record time.”

Focussing on various other subjects discussed during FICCI FRAMES, the Secretary of the I&B Ministry added that there are plans to give out 839 radio licenses. With regards to the lack of rating system, he offered coming out with guidelines for setting up a body to do this rating. He also suggested that with regards to the tax issue, he is willing to work with the film industry to develop a case for the industry when GST comes into play.

Later in his address, he added that, “I hope to make India the digital hub of the world, not just in terms of teleports, but digital production. We the government and the industry need to align our efforts and thinking. “

Delivering the valedictory address, Mr. Ronnie Screwvala, MD, Disney UTV, said “It is a challenging task to summarize the phenomenal and interesting three days hosted by Uday and Karan. The media and entertainment industry is slated to grow by 12% which is still lower than the sunrise industries. I believe that we need to fill in the gap between the phenomenal talent to grow content and match it with the commerce part of it.”

Reflecting on the positives discussed during the conference, he added, “After waiting for the last 20 years, digitisation has finally been implemented and this is fantastic news for TV and broadcasting, though I still believe it will take 2-3 years for revenue monetisation. I also believe that the solution to the lack of a rating system lies in our hand. There is a lot to celebrate with regards to new media. Reflecting on the dynamism of the Indian markets, I am happy to share that we are the only country where print is growing and are the largest DTH market in the world. Also today gaming and radio have become viable businesses; the regional market has grown phenomenally. “

Pointing out a few areas of concern he added, “We lack unanimity in the industry, I think it is the obligation for every leader to look at our individual contribution to help the industry grow. Also we lack innovation in the M&E sector and we need to be taken forward on a larger scale. Cinema needs to make consumers come out of the house.  I want to conclude this by adding that a combination of data, bandwidth, and content is going to be more valuable than all. “

Concluding the 3 day mega session of FICCI FRAMES, Mr. Uday Shankar thanked the participants, speakers and FICCI team for putting together the show. He concluded by saying that, “We have a big task set out in front of us which is to engage with a billion consumers and to produce a 1000 crore blockbuster. But it heartening that everyone here agreed that though ambitious, it is an achievable target. I would also like to announce that FICCI is setting up a Centre for Regulatory Excellence that will align with corporate India’s objectives with that of the Government with a specific focus on M&E industry. “

And that brings the curtains down on FICCI FRAMES 2013.


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