Pakistan's federal minister for Information and Broadcasting, Marriyum Aurangzeb, has announced a major boost to the country's film industry.
During the recent Icon Awards 2023 in Karachi, Aurangzeb said that the government has taken measures to promote film production and cinema with increased tax exemptions.
Per a report by the Daily Pakistan, Aurangzeb noted the efforts behind the creation of the country's inaugural Film Policy, which was established in 2016 and approved in 2018. The policy's development was a result of consultations with artists, producers, and stakeholders in the film industry.
The minister credited the input from notable senior artists in forming the Film Policy and acknowledged former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for the recognition of films as an industry.
According to the revised policy, cinemas are now granted exemption from income tax for five years, while import duties on cinema apparatus, and sales tax has been scrapped.
The minister also revealed that the current government has established a Rs2bn Film Finance Fund to support filmmakers for one year, along with the creation of a Film Finance Committee. She highlighted the "pivotal role of artists in Pakistan Television (PTV) and noted recent initiatives such as the renovation of the PTV Academy after nearly three decades and the digitisation of PTV archives for seamless online accessibility."
Major productions that have filmed in Pakistan include Salman Khan's Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Imran Khan's Awarapan, Himesh Reshammiya's Kajraare, Angelina Jolie's A Mighty Heart and The Kite Runner. Local productions include mega-hit The Legend of Maula Jatt and the 2022 Cannes Un Certain Regard selection Joyland.