New Delhi [India], January 31 (ANI): Ahead of the 2023 Union Budget, which is set to be presented on Wednesday, filmmaker Ashoke Pandit shed light on the expectations of the entertainment industry from it while stating that it "has always been neglected."
Taking to ANI, Pandit stated that to date no government has taken the entertainment industry seriously and that it is not given the same importance as other industries.
He said, "The entertainment industry which includes cinema, television, OTT and state shows has always been very hopeful whenever the Budget is about to be announced, this happens year after year. But unfortunately, our entertainment industry has always been neglected by government after government."
"We have not been spoken about the way other industries are spoken about in the budget, whether it's the textile industry, whether it's the soap industry or health industry. The way other industries are identified, discussed, debated and benefits are thought for those industries, the entertainment industry has not been given that kind of importance or seriousness by any government till date. We have been discussing, we have been approaching but unfortunately that seriousness, as far as our industry is concerned, is not there in the politics of this country," he continued.
Pandit further said that the entertainment industry has been working independently, "Whatever battles we have fought, whatever the survival of this industry is, it's all done by ourselves."
Sharing his expectations from the upcoming budget, the filmmaker added, "I hope this budget will bring in some benefits for our industry. Our basic demand from the current government is that please consider our industry as an industry in a real sense, think how will this industry survive and what benefits can be given."
He continued, "Our industry is one of the biggest taxpayers of the country and during all kinds of trouble like during corona we played a very important role by entertaining the people sitting at home, we were responsible for people not getting mentally ill. So this industry has to be taken seriously by the governments and not only use us as promoters during elections or calling for events."
Pandit then stated the important role the entertainment industry played during the COVID-induced lockdown period and how it represents our country globally.
"We never actually talk much but we are creators, and artists, we represent our culture and because of our cinema, theatres and events, we are promoters of our country. Whenever we go abroad we see how people talk about our cinema as we have become the biggest film producers. We are there taking our country to a different level, we play a very important role in promoting our culture, location and tourism. If we are doing so much it's high time that the government takes us seriously," the filmmaker concluded.
Meanwhile, Budget 2023 is likely to be the last full Budget of the Modi government in its second term with the next Lok Sabha election due in April-May of 2024. (ANI)