Cannes: India will soon have a scheme of location shooting incentives that could help put the country, known for its films and entertainment industry, on the map for international film productions.
The scheme may be unveiled within weeks.
The country is trying to create a rebate scheme that could give feature films shot in India a 30 per cent discount. It would be matched by another scheme helping international co-productions, reports variety.com.
Both moves are conditional on the continuation of the Narendra Modi-headed government, which is seeking re-election. Election results will be known on May 23 and the film industry support measures could be announced shortly thereafter.
In an interview to variety.com, Amit Khare, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, said the government will likely categorise the media and entertainment sector as one of a dozen “champion sectors” capable of delivering above-average growth.
He outlined the planned production incentive schemes and hinted at further possible tax cuts for the sector.
While details are yet to be finalised, Khare said that qualifying production spends in India could enjoy a rebate of 30 per cent, capped at Rs 20 million ($300,000) per film.
The scheme would initially be endowed with $7.5 million and be administered through the National Film Development Corp, which until recently has been focused mostly on grant schemes for Indian movies.
Khare said that rebate cash would be paid within three months of proof of the qualifying production spend. And in order to allow films to draw down some cash early while they are shooting, a partial-refund scheme may also be introduced.
India currently has 13 bilateral co-production treaties. But Khare said that treaties only work well when there is local finance.
He finds India to be in competition with other countries for film shoots. He named Morocco, Malta and Thailand as territories with competing location attraction schemes.