The Kerala government on Saturday said it is ready with a comprehensive draft law for the film industry in the state to curb the alleged immoral activities, including use of drugs on movie sets. Law Minister A K Balan, while stating this, said the government could intervene in the industry's affairs only if the film fraternity made a request to the effect in writing.
He was speaking to reporters after a meeting with the Kerala Film Producers Association. "The meeting was convened as instructed by the Chief Minister. The government is ready to intervene and has already drafted a comprehensive law to curb the alleged immoral activities in the industry like use of drugs," he said.
The Association had alleged at recent press meet that new generation actors were using high-end drugs in movie sets and that they wanted the government to intervene in the matter. The high-level meeting also discussed the issue of film producers association deciding not to release films in state run Kerala State Film Development Corporation theaters, protesting against the hike in entertainment tax.
Finance Minister Thomas Issac, who also took part in the meeting, said the associations have decided to withdraw their stir. It is totally an unwanted protest to boycott KSFDC theaters. The GST in the film industry was determined as 18 percent and 28 per cent which all organisations had welcomed. But the GST council decided to reduce it. Now they have given a memorandum, which will be considered. They have decided to withdraw the strike, Isaac said.
When the GST came into effect in 2017, state government had scrapped the entertainment tax. Now GST of 12 per cent is charged on a Rs 100 ticket and 18 per cent GST on tickets costing more than Rs 100. In January 2019, the Finance Minister had reintroduced a 10 percent entertainment tax, named Local Body Entertainment Tax in the price, leading to protests from the film industry.
Balan said the film association had earlier decided not to screen movies in the 17 KSFDC run theaters. "Government has asked them to reconsider the decision. They asked us to completely withdraw the Entertainment tax. We cannot agree with that. But we have agreed to consider their request to rectify anomalies in GST taxation slab," Balan said.
Balan said the Association agreed to withdraw their strike and provide movies to the KSFDC theaters also. Meanwhile KFPA said there was no ban on actor Shane Nigam. Malayalam film producers had on November 27 banned Nigam from all their movies, alleging that producers of two films 'Veyil' and 'Kurbani', could not complete their projects due to the actor's "non-cooperation.
"We want Shane to complete the movies he had committed to. We have not banned anyone from the movies. We will discuss his matter with AMMA," KFPA office bearer Ranjith told reporters. The 23-year-old actor violated the informal agreement he had reached with the producer of "Veyil" by changing his hairstyle and shaving his beard, KFPA alleged,Nigam, son of late mimicry artiste Aby, was supposed to complete the work of 'Veyil' in which he sports a different look with long hair and beard.