Film production & broadcast policy on cards to encourage indigenous entertainment industry: Marriyum Aurangzeb

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ISLAMABAD, Mar 17 (APP): Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb on Friday informed the National Assembly that the government was going to launch film production and broadcasting policy to encourage indigenous entertainment industry in the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Replying to a question during Question Hour, the minister said that Pakistan’s Film Industry was one of the largest film industries of Asia in the early sixties and late seventies.
She informed the House that around 160 to 180 films were being produced annually by the industry; however the number of films nosedived to almost zero by 2007. Most cinemas of the country had been closed and converted into shopping plazas, she added.
Regarding foreign content, particularly Indian, the minister said the government has a very strict censorship policy in that regard under the Motion Picture Ordinance 1979.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said that indigenous industry flourished whenever alternative entertainment was developed and the present government was focusing on how to control the foreign content.
The Minister said there was no official ban on the state-censored and regulated public exhibition of Indian feature films at the cinema houses under the Motion Picture Ordinance, 1979.
She said the existing policy framework of the federal government to all exhibitions of foreign cinematographic films in Pakistani cinemas was consistent with the policy approved by the then Prime Minister in 2007.
She said the Central Board of Film Censors has the power to censor the contents which are against our social norms and national interests.
Replying to another question, Marriyum Aurangzeb said the Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) still enjoyed ascendency over other TV channels with respect to country-wide outreach.