Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb promises tax exemptions for the film industry at Hum Awards

Minister of Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb announced the government’s plan of incentivizing the film industry of Pakistan at 5th Hum Awards in Lahore last night. She promised that the film industry will be ‘tax exempted’ in coming months and announced the opening of ‘film financing’ for the first time in the history of the country.

She assured that the multi-sectoral incentive will benefit not just producers and directors but also artists and people behind the camera. She also acknowledged the role of the corporate sector in helping the film industry grow and revealed the plan of tax exempting the income spent on the film production.

Marriyum Aurangzeb was present as the chief guest of the star-studded event, celebrating the best of music, drama and cinema in 2016. She, along with Duraid Qureshi, CEO Hum Network, presented Recognition Award to three best movies of the last year. The movies awarded at the 5th Hum Awards included ‘Actor in Law’ (Urdu1 Films), ‘Janaan’ (ARY Films) and ‘Mah e Mir’ (HUM Films).

While talking at the event, Marriyum Aurangzeb thanked the executives of Hum Network for inviting her to the prestigious event and expressed her pleasure at seeing the entertainment industry thriving in Pakistan. She said, “This was the most lovable and peaceful moment in last four years. I am mostly pleased for the reason that this is the Pakistan we want to see and which the whole world wants to see. And one who sees this Pakistan would never want to leave it.”

She acknowledged the role of artists in voicing against extremism and providing alternative narrative to the people. The minister expressed, “I believe when you have to fight a war on ideological fronts then you (artists) are the soldiers of this country. And with you we will bring that change that Pakistan needs and for the coming generations of this country.”

While revealing the government plans to incentivize the film industry, she announced, “Today with everyone present here I would like to make a commitment that I will make this (film) industry tax free in coming months.”

She further shared the details of the plan, “Its not just one tax free incentive that we are giving under the great leadership of the Prime Minister, we are also opening in Pakistan the film financing for the first time in the history of the country. We are incentivizing the industry not just for the producers and the directors but (also) for the artists (and) for the people who are backstage or behind the cameras. So, these are multi-sectoral incentive that is coming to this industry.”

In the end of her speech, Marriyum Aurangzeb acknowledged the accomplishments of the corporate sector for their social services. She said, “I would also like to acknowledge the fact that the corporate sector of Pakistan has been very vibrant. The things corporate sector had done under their corporal social responsibility should had been done by the state. I would also like to say that as part of the policy the amount spent by the corporate sector on the film production will also be tax exempted.”

Minister’s presence at the event is a huge step towards bridging the gap between the government and the TV and film fraternity. The announcement of tax exemption and film financing is indeed a great initiative taken by the government to help the film industry grow bigger. This has been demanded for long by everyone in the business, as without the support of government the film industry cannot sustain the challenges of new era.

We wish the plans promised by Marriyum Aurangzeb see the light of the day soon!


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