| "I still have some seven to eight files
regarding news channels to clear,"Prasad said, adding that of
these some are old cases.
The minister, who was speaking at a session on media and entertainment
at the annual session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
here, however, refused to give any further details or to name the
companies that have sought government permission to start news channels.
On the sidelines of the session, Prasad also said that the government
has not taken any stand on the formation of a task force to look
into evolving an industry-friendly policy framework for the FM radio
segment as had been suggested by the Radio Group, which had met
the minister some days back.
"The proposal is still under consideration," Prasad said.
According to the minister, the government has decided to rework
the visa manual in order to provide a single window clearance to
foreign film producers coming to shoot on Indian locales.
Prasad said that a suggestion has been made by him to the external
affairs minister to make films as a part of diplomacy as the films
are the best ambassadors of the country.
Dwelling on the simplification of norms for film shooting in India,
Prasad said this would enable foreign producers to come to India
with a script and leave with the complete films in cans. For this,
a whole lot of post-production facilities, studio and other infrastructure
facilities, including the hotel and transport arrangements, would
have to be toned up.
Prasad felt that these steps would help in making India a low cost
film production hub in the region. In this direction, the English
language speaking experts and technicians and IT expertise, especially
in animation film production are the major inputs.
Prasad also mentioned about the special animation courses that
are being started at Film and Television Institute, Pune and Satyajit
Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata.
The minister said that Indian films have enormous potential of
exploring to foreign markets but the industry has to work seriously
in this direction. The government on its part is playing a proactive
role, which is reflected in its initiative at larger participation
at Cannes Film Festival and also holding Film Bazaar at the International
Film Festival in Delhi last year. He said, the ministry has decided
to participate in all the major film festivals of the world.
Earlier during the session, Mukta Arts chairman Subhash Ghai, and
actor-director Shashi Kapoor highlighted the problems of the film
industry and invited government intervention in encouraging low-cost
films by giving subsidies, providing infrastructure at beautiful
locations in India, and allotting IT status to the film industry.