Parliament has passed the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023 with the Lok Sabha approving it today amid din. The Rajya Sabha has already passed the Bill. The Bill seeks to amend the Cinematograph Act, 1952 under which the certificate issued by the Central Board of Film Certification was valid for 10 years. Now, the certificate will be perpetually valid.
The Bill has a provision to add certain additional certificate categories based on age. Films with an ‘A’ or ‘S’ certificate will require a separate certificate for exhibition on television, or any other media prescribed by the central government. The Bill prohibits the unauthorized recording and exhibition of films. According to the Bill, attempting an unauthorized recording will be an offence with imprisonment between three months and three years, and a fine between three lakh rupees and five percent of the audited gross production cost.
Replying to a brief discussion over the Bill, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur said, the credibility of Indian films have increased immensely across the world and the country is producing the highest number of films. Talking about the merits of the Bill, he said, this legislation will benefit every person associated with the film industry. He said, this will check piracy which is causing a huge loss to the film industry. Mr. Thakur added that the film industry is incurring losses of around 22 thousand crore rupees every year due to piracy.
He said, the Bill is also intended to prohibit the unauthorized recording of the films and ease the process of licensing procedure as the certificates will be perpetually valid. Lauding the achievement made by the Indian Films and documentaries in the Oscar, he said, film RRR and documentary The Elephant Whisperers have earned laurels for the country on the world stage.
He expressed confidence that the Indian film industry will win more awards in the future also. Mr. Thakur said, Indian film industry has a huge potential to become content hub of the world. Criticizing the opposition for disrupting the proceedings of the House, the Minister said, opposition is against the rising soft power of the country and the film industry. Earlier, initiating the discussion over the Bill, Manoj Tiwari of BJP said, it will help in checking piracy. Ram Shiromani Verma of BSP, Krupal Balaji Tumane of Shiv Sena, Independent member Navneet Rana and others also supported the Bill.